London Stansted Airport in the UK has unveiled plans to trial fully compostable security bags for passengers travelling with liquids in their hand luggage.

With this trial, Stansted Airport will be the first airport in the UK to adopt compostable security bags.

If results are positive, the airport expects the new bags to replace the 11 million non-compostable plastic bags estimated to be used each year at the airport.

Since 2006, passengers have been legally required to transfer any bottles containing 100ml or less of liquids, aerosols and gels into clear, resealable bags.

Hertfordshire-based PMC Polythene will produce the recyclable bags. The company uses recycled UK-sourced waste to produce recyclable polythene products.

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Stansted Airport has worked with the UK Department for Transport and Civil Aviation Authority to secure approval for the trial.

Airport staff will distribute 50,000 compostable bags to passengers during the busiest week of December.

In addition, the airport will take feedback from passengers to understand their opinion on the bags and their attitude towards sustainable travel.

The airport noted that passengers who opt to use the existing bags will be given reminders that the bags can be re-used for travel and personal use.

This trial is part of the airport’s ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ initiative aimed at reducing waste and aiding the airport’s Zero to Landfill policy.

London Stansted Airport Environment manager Martin Churley said: “Our first message to passengers is to think carefully about how often they use the non-recyclable plastic bags.

“They can obviously be used again for a return flight, but there are plenty of other uses for them if you’re not a frequent flyer, so we’re urging people to avoid throwing them away after they fly.”

In October, the airport partnered with Cambridgeshire-based bio-bean to produce solid biofuels from the 150t of coffee grounds used there a year.