Sustainability blooms in Amsterdam

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is joining forces with the Circular Plastics Alliance to create shipping containers made from recycled plastics for the flower industry. Currently, flowers represent over 35% of the imported cargo that travels through the airport. The irregularly sized containers used for many shipments take up so much space in planes that they are only able to carry around half of their total capacity.

The Circular Plastics Alliance – which was founded in 2019 to help different industries transform their logistics chains into closed loops – hopes the new packaging will reduce the carbon footprint of flower importers by 25% while boosting their profitability by 25%.

Moving away from disposable shipping containers

By adopting standardised boxes and pallets that can be used over and over again, the number of flights needed to import flowers can be decreased, as can the amount of packaging that ends up being discarded. The recycled pallets and boxes can be used for five to seven years, after which they can be turned into new containers. 

Now that prototypes of the containers and pallets have been developed, the alliance hopes to meet with Kenyan flower growers to promote the scheme as soon as international travel resumes. In the future, they also hope other industries, including the fashion sector, will use the packaging when sending goods abroad. 

Schiphol embraces eco-friendly innovation

Over the last several years, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol has taken various steps to become more eco-friendly. In 2018, it launched a fleet of 100 electric buses to ferry passengers between terminals. The following year, it was recognised by the Airports Council International for cutting, managing and compensating its CO2 emissions, and in 2020, it was also named one of the world’s best airports.

Read more business news from around Amsterdam.