'Reverse vending' machines launched at Belfast International Airport
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The two plastic bottle disposal points, now available before the security area in departures, invite visitors to drop off their used bottles.
Each machine crushes the plastic within the unit, creating and storing a raw material used in manufacturing, while a unique app functionality due to be added soon will mean airport visitors can be rewarded for playing their part in reducing plastic waste.
Delivered as a pilot programme with the support of Antrim and Newtownabbey Council, the launch is the first in a partnership between the council and the reverse vending machine supplier. It complements the council’s Climate Change Action Plan, which has seen the appointment of dedicated sustainability specialists and the promotion of innovative projects such as an Active Travel scheme.
The possibility of RVM facilities at council facilities is now being examined.
Mayor, Cllr Mark Cooper BEM said: “The ‘second life’ ethos behind this launch is something I’m delighted to see.
“Working towards a circular economy is an extremely effective way to deal with unnecessary waste. The use of a reverse vending machine is a practical, impactful way to not just raise awareness of waste but actively make positive change happen.
“I’d encourage every business to join in the drive to stop unnecessary plastic waste.”
Belfast International Airport Compliance Manager Kevin Napier added: “Belfast International is proud to work with our service providers on our waste minimisation journey.
“The introduction of RVMs will create a high-quality plastic waste stream allowing better reuse of this valuable resource and adding to our waste segregation options.”