AGS Airports Ltd has become the first UK airport group to trial a new Oxo-Biodegradable 100ml security bag.
The new sustainable bags will now be available free of charge to passengers in the security areas at Aberdeen, Glasgow and Southampton airports.
By introducing the Oxo-Biodegradable version, AGS Airports will now remove more than two million single-use plastic bags each year across the group.
The technology involved ensures the product will begin to degrade over a selected period of time – between 17 and 24 months of a bag’s lifespan – down to a natural bio-mass rather than the more damaging micro-plastics associated with single-use alternatives. Each bag can also be reused and recycled prior to the beginning of the degrading period.
Mark Johnston, Chief Operating Officer at AGS Airports Ltd, said: “We are proud to be the first group to trial these new Oxo-Biodegradable security bags, which will significantly reduce single-use plastic consumption across our three airports.
“Finding a suitable alternative that met both our security and operational requirements while retaining the necessary resilience the bags require was a challenge, so we’re really pleased to be able to trial a product that can not only be re-used and recycled, but also provides our passengers with the assurance that they are also supporting our efforts to support the environment.”
The switch to Oxo-Biodegradable security bags is the latest sustainable initiative introduced to help reduce AGS Airports Ltd’s carbon footprint. Last year, Glasgow became the first airport to introduce a fleet of three Scottish-built full electric buses to its operation and invested more than £200,000 to deploy eight of petrol/electric plug-in hybrid Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV 4×4 vehicles across its airfield operations.
The group has also joined over 200 airports across Europe in signing ACI Europe’s NetZero 2050 pledge; a commitment to achieving net zero for the carbon under our control by 2050. At a UK level, AGS is a signatory to Sustainable Aviation’s decarbonisation roadmap which is the first national net zero aviation commitment anywhere in the world.
The Oxo-Biodegradable plastic bags have been introduced in partnership with Enviro-Point, a subsidiary of airport service company Luggage-Point.
Each year more than eight million tonnes of single use plastic ends up in our oceans and seas and it can take up to 500 years for a single plastic bag to degrade.
Using Oxo-Biodegradable (d2w) in the normal manufacturing process of plastics accelerates the natural process of oxidation. Oxidation reduces the molecular weight of the polymer in a much shorter timescale, until it is no longer a plastic and can be gradually bio-assimilated by bacteria and fungi on land and in the ocean.
Graeme Stewart, Chief Executive of Enviro-Point, said: “We have a long and trusted relationship with AGS through our association via Luggage-Point and I am delighted to see the group become the first in the UK to provide Oxo-Biodegradable liquid bags within their airports.
“Despite the current challenges facing the aviation industry, it is vital that we do not lose sight of environmental issues and as AGS has demonstrated, positive changes can still be made during these difficult times. I hope to witness further airports making the same positive change by introducing Enviro-Point’s Oxo-Biodegradable liquid bags, as small changes can often have the largest impact.
“Oxo-Biodegradable bags provide a ‘fail safe’ should the item not be recycled, as the product begins to Oxo Bio-degrade automatically wherever oxygen is present and will be completely bio-assimilated after 24 months.”