Several hundred returnable deposit bottles end up in the rubbish at Hamburg Airport every day. They are thrown away throughout the terminals, but especially at the security checkpoints because passengers are not allowed to take them on board the aircraft. Hamburg Airport has now installed six transparent containers in the terminals, allowing passengers to donate their deposit bottles. The revenue from returned deposits will be donated to the Hamburg street magazine Hinz&Kunzt to fund jobs for three former long-term unemployed people. These three people will have the job of regularly emptying the containers, sorting the returnable deposit bottles, and preparing them for collection.
"The 'Donate Your Deposit' campaign is beneficial in two ways. First, we are able to contribute to people getting back on their feet. At the same time, this initiative is good for the environment," says Johannes Scharnberg, Head of the Aviation Division at Hamburg Airport and responsible for the project. "Until now, the money was literally disappearing in the rubbish. Now it is serving a social cause." The revenue is transferred in its entirety to the Hamburg street magazine and makes it possible to employ the three people on a minimum wage at the airport site. The project also includes a staff room for the employees, made available by the airport.
Also on board: Hinz&Kunzt and Der Gruene Punkt
As well as Hamburg Airport and Hinz&Kunzt, the recycling company Der Gruene Punkt – Duales System Deutschland GmbH (DSD) is also part of the project. "The Hinz&Kunzt staff empty the containers, and Der Gruene Punkt turns the sorted bottles into money," explains Mercedes Lazar-Heubel, Project Manager in the airport's Aviation Division. "The project is an exemplary fusion of environmental and resource protection with commitment to social responsibility. We are therefore very happy to be part of the project, contributing our expertise in the processing of returnable deposit bottles," says Dr Markus van Halteren, Managing Director of DSD.
Modelled on a Student Project at the University of Hohenheim
The idea for "Donate Your Deposit" originated with students at the University of Hohenheim in the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg. The students are members of Enactus, an international non-political organisation. The revenue from collected deposit bottles at the University of Hohenheim has been used for charitable purposes for a long time now. On the basis of the positive experience there, the project was also launched at Stuttgart Airport and in Cologne. "We are delighted that we could put this campaign in place in Hamburg so quickly, too. We are convinced that this great idea will continue to spread," says Michael Eggenschwiler, CEO of Hamburg Airport.