Bottles of whisky confiscated at Edinburgh Airport’s security gates have been used to raise thousands of pounds for a Scottish charity.
Despite a ban on carrying liquids over 100ml in hand luggage being in place in the UK for a decade, many travellers still take the risk and lose out when valuable items are seized.
In September, Edinburgh Airport chiefs decided to hold on to high-value sealed items and re-purpose them for a charity project to avoid pouring quality liquids down the drain.
Around 170 litres were saved in just three months and handed over to Guide Dogs Scotland for use in auctions and other fundraising projects.
While the majority of the items were bottles of whisky, the goods also included other premium spirits and several bottles of perfume.
Edinburgh Airport said that the change in policy – which was welcomed by Zero Waste Scotland – helped to raise nearly £4000 for its corporate charity of the year.
Airport chief executive Gordon Dewar said: “The inspiration for this process came from our close partnership with Guide Dogs Scotland during the past year – and also to reduce waste here at the airport.
“The collection of sealed, valuable liquids to the value of nearly £4000 since we implemented this practice in September is substantial and it all goes towards funding for Guide Dogs Scotland.”
Mr Dewar added: “We’d rather not be having to confiscate people’s liquid items at all – but well documented UK Government restriction on liquids over 100ml not being allowed on board as hand luggage have been in place for over 10 years now.
“Hopefully the fact that sealed confiscated items go towards this great charity offers the passengers some comfort – they are no longer just taken off them and poured down the drain like they are at other airports.
“Next year we will have a new corporate charity of the year and they too will be beneficiaries of our recycling high value untampered confiscated liquids.”
Guide Dogs Scotland community fundraiser Kyla Stratton said: “The donated goods are being used as auction and raffle prizes at events held by Guide Dogs Scotland or by our volunteer fundraising groups throughout the country.
“It’s a fantastic venture for us and has proved very popular with our volunteers, who work tirelessly to raise funds for Guide Dogs Scotland and can struggle to obtain auction and raffle prizes to use at their year-round events.”
Ms Stratton said the donated items often raise more than face value, adding: “We are extremely grateful to be benefiting from this successful relationship.”
Airport bosses hope that they will have raised a total of £25,000 for Guide Dogs Scotland through the confiscations, staff donations and collections from passengers.
Edinburgh Airport will continue the scheme in 2017 with its new charity of the year, Children 1st.