Schiphol encourages and promotes new circular economy initiatives. Circular ways of doing business are attracting more and more attention, but there is a lot of room for development. Schiphol wants to contribute to this development and demonstrate the many possibilities. The knowledge we gather will be shared with other parties – that’s how we’re going to reach our goal to be a fully circular airport in 2050. We have already carried out some remarkable pilots together with our partners at the airport.
Sustainable flax paint
Rigo, a paint manufacturer in IJmuiden, used flax grown at Schiphol to create a sustainable paint called Aquamarijn. This paint has been used at Schiphol, in the P3 long-stay car park, for example. The flax is grown on an area of wasteland at Schiphol, local windmills do the oil pressing and then Rigo uses the oil to make paint. Waternet and the City of Amsterdam were also involved in this pilot.
Circular baggage conveyor belt
Schiphol’s baggage basement is home to a 110-metre long cradle-to-cradle conveyor belt. Installed in 2011, it was the first in the world. This conveyor belt was designed by a company called Vanderlande and Schiphol provided the opportunity for it to be tested. The Blueveyor was designed to be easily dismantled after reaching the end of its useful life, meaning the various parts can be reused. The Blueveyor is 60% more energy efficient because of the special conveyance method it uses.
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From waste water to fertiliser pellets
Phosphorus is one of the world’s natural resources that is running out. Schiphol carried out a pilot to extract magnesium ammonium phosphate (which contains phosphorus) from aircraft waste water. It was used to make struvite fertiliser pellets. These pellets were then spread over a part of the runway area where the soil needed enriching. This project was done in collaboration with water treatment partner Evides Industriewater, Vewin (an association of water utility companies) and research institute KWR.
From packaging to construction panels
Schiphol uses some construction panels made of cellulose beverage packaging from the terminal and elephant grass. These are being used instead of the traditional MDF panels. These constructions panels were developed by ECOR together with VolkerWessels who makes and installs them. When these eco panels have served their purpose they are returned to ECOR, who make new ones from the old. These can then be used at Schiphol again.