Planet Positive Initiatives
A planet-smart splash and dash play at Schiphol
Schiphol Airport Retail (SAR) and sustainable reusable water bottle company Dopper say that the recent removal of packaged water from stores represents “an important step in the fight against plastic pollution”.
They teamed up recently to offer passengers free water from a new drinking station inside SAR’s flagship L2 store at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. The will prevent the sale of an estimated 750,000 single-use plastic water bottles every year.
Sustainable installation: The smart Dopper Water Tap dispenses free drinking water and engages passengers with an LED display
SAR – which operates 12 stores at Schiphol and is a JV between Schiphol Group and Gebr. Heinemann – claims to be the first airport retailer in Europe to cease selling packaged water. Instead, the stores now sell Dopper’s premium reusable water bottles or alternatively travellers can bring their own bottles to the airport to use at the smart Dopper Water Tap.
SAR noted research that shows convenience is the main reason for buying single-use plastic water bottles. In addition, public water taps are perceived as hard to find and people see taps without a clear owner as unhygienic.
Pictured (left to right) are Schiphol Airport Retail Deputy Managing Director/Head of Operations Martine De Lang, Dopper CEO Virginia Yanquilevich and Royal Schiphol Group Business Manager Retail Maarten Schouwenaar
The smart Dopper Water Tap in SAR’s store is designed to change these perceptions and encourage the 70 million passengers that annually pass through the airport to use tap water. Dopper’s tap features a droplet-shaped interactive LED display, and with more than 200 different triggers, words and jokes, people are encouraged to refill their reusable bottle.
Among other features, the smart tap tracks how much water has been tapped, how many single-use plastic water bottles have been saved and how much CO2-emission has been prevented. Dopper makes the water tap points findable via Google Maps, creating a nationwide network of places where people can refill their reusable water bottle.
By banning single-use plastic water bottles and offering free tap water, SAR said it wants to make a clear statement to the industry community and to inspire other retailers.
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