Bottle return machine at Frankfurt Airport donates proceeds to charity of choice

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By Raymond Kollau,

Since security rules were tightened more than a decade ago, passengers are not allowed to take their  cans and bottles through security. This has been a nuisance for the travelling public, as many people for example have to purchase a bottle of water again beyond security to replace the one left behind.

However, a growing number of airports around the world are coming up with innovative schemes to solve this situation and to reduce waste at the same time.

San Francisco International Airport, for instance, encourages passengers passing through its new Terminal 2 to empty their plastic containers before entering the screening area. After passing through the checkpoint, passengers can stop at so-called ‘hydration stations’ to refill their water bottles for free.

Frankfurt Airport
Frankfurt Airport has installed a bottle return machine in its Terminal 1 that lets passengers cut waste while backing their choice from four charities. Passengers can now throw away their liquid cans and bottles at the terminal’s security checkpoint into a custom-made bottle return machine. As German law makes deposits obligatory for single-use cans and bottles passengers can help their selected charity at the same time as well.

The WWF World Wide Fund for Nature, featuring the Panda symbol, is one option. By clicking on the LOG (Luftfahrt ohne Grenzen – Aviation Without Borders) logo, passengers support this relief organization. Passengers who prefer to support charities in the Frankfurt region may decide for the Frankfurter Tafel, an organization donating food to the needy, or the Franziskustreff, a Frankfurt-based fund for the homeless.  If no choice is made, the donation automatically goes to the WWF.

Frankfurt Airport says the bottle return machine is very well received by passengers. Should the feedback continue to develop positively, the return system will be installed at other locations throughout the airport.


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