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Reduction of environmental impact in cooperation with Finnish Red Cross expanded: recycling started in Rovaniemi, Oulu, Turku and Tampere

Article published
5.10.2018 at 14:47
A new security check point at Helsinki Airport.
Every day, Finavia is left with a large number of items removed in security control. Instead of disposing of them, most of the items are donated to the Kontti Second Hand Department Store operated by the Finnish Red Cross. This cooperation is now expanded from Helsinki Airport to other airports.

Carry-on and checked baggage is inspected according to authoritative instructions, and any items prohibited from entering the airplane must be removed from the baggage. Finavia aims to inform passengers of such restrictions, but if the information does not reach them in time, items may have to be removed during security control. Use the Finavia search function to see whether you can bring an item in the airplane cabin or whether it can be checked in to the cargo hold.

About 50–200 items a day removed in Rovaniemi during peak season

Finavia and the Finnish Red Cross are cooperating to reduce the amount of waste and extend the service life of items. The cooperation was launched at Helsinki Airport in December last year, and the positive experiences spurred its expansion to other Finavia airports. So far, the cooperation has been launched in Rovaniemi, Oulu, Turku and Tampere.

“The cooperation with the Finnish Red Cross has had a very positive start. The most common items removed from baggage are powerbanks, other types of batteries and ignition devices. The number of removed items varies a great deal, but during peak season in the winter, up to 50–200 items are removed each day,” says Service Supervisor Pentti Stoor from Rovaniemi airport.

“The Kontti employees pick up the items to be sold for charity from the airport. So far, the Kontti stores have received about five boxes of powerbanks, for example. There is about one year’s backlog of items. Some have been returned to the passengers. Previously, any item not reclaimed by the passenger was disposed of. The airport employees are glad to see the removed items go to good use instead of being thrown away,” says Stoor.

Items stored for one month before being donated to Red Cross

All the items removed from checked baggage are stored at the airports for at least a month as the passenger is not present at the inspection. Regular items removed from carry-on baggage, on the other hand, are primarily disposed of (liquids over 100 ml, lighters, etc.) unless the item is particularly valuable or the passenger specifically states that they want to reclaim the item. The options for returning and storing items vary between airports.

After one month of storage, some removed items, such as tools, sharp objects, sports equipment, cigarette lighters and powerbanks, are donated to Red Cross. However, items such as weapons, alcohol, food items, or materials containing personal data, such as USB sticks, are not recycled or donated to charity.

“We find the cooperation with Finavia interesting and pleasant. Our customers have been interested in the products and we have told them about our cooperation. Being able to reuse items that would have previously been thrown away while collecting funds for the relief work of Red Cross is a win-win situation,” says Sari Nikkola, Director of the Kontti chain of the Finnish Red Cross.

Most common items removed from checked baggage

  • Powerbanks
  • Ignition devices
  • Detached cartridges of firearms
  • Detached lithium batteries
  • Hairspray bottles without a cap
  • Spray paint

Most common items removed from carry-on baggage

  • Liquids stored in containers over 100 ml
  • Tools and sharp objects
  • Ignition devices (one lighter or box of matches allowed)

Read more about responsibility at Finavia

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