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Healing properties for Stockholm Arlanda’s recycled cans and bottles

Photo of container for recyclable bottles and cans at one of Swedavia's airport
2014-10-07, kl. 10:49

Recyclable PET plastic bottles and cans at five of Swedavia’s airports will help Doctors Without Borders save lives.

“In that way, we are able to bring together our high environmental objectives and corporate social responsibility. Stockholm Arlanda is Sweden’s gateway to the world and a natural place to want to help others,” says Tove Möller, diversity manager at Swedavia, which is carrying out the project in partnership with Returpack Pantamera.

The Swedish airport group Swedavia is launching a project to set up containers for recyclable bottles and cans at five Swedish airports. Stockholm Arlanda Airport, Göteborg Landvetter Airport, Bromma Stockholm Airport, Umeå Airport and Luleå Airport are getting specially made containers that encourage passengers to donate the deposit on their bottles and cans to people in need. 

Swedavia and Returpak will donate in their entirety all deposits on cans and bottles placed in the containers to the organization Doctors Without Borders.  

The recyclables project is part of Swedavia’s work for a sustainable business. Collecting recyclable bottles and cans fulfils several important objectives.

“We work for sustainable development, and this reduces the likelihood of recyclable containers ending up in an incinerator. It is part of our collaboration with Doctors Without Borders, which is an organisation that is very much in keeping with our view of social responsibility,” says Tove Möller at Swedavia.

Returpack estimates that the deposits redeemed each year from Stockholm Arlanda alone could total around 1 million Swedish kronor. Making use of the large volume of beverage containers with a redeemable deposit helps Returpack in its work to increase recycling while it also enables a contribution to Doctors Without Borders’ operations in disaster areas.

“If this is a success, then we are interested in introducing the same system in partnership with Swedavia at the Group’s ten airports,” says Rickard Andersson, product manager at Returpack.

“This money will be used to bolster our medical humanitarian efforts, which save lives in various disasters and conflicts around the world,” says Johan Mast, secretary-general of Doctors Without Borders.

The containers for recyclables will be set up around the airports, including at security checkpoints, where many passengers today leave plastic bottles and cans. For several years, Malmö Airport has had two deposit redemption machines in partnership with Returpack Pantamera and Doctors Without Borders. The experience has been positive.

The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency’s target is to have 90 per cent of Sweden’s metal cans and plastic PET bottles recycled. That figure is currently slightly more than 89 per cent.


Doctors Without Borders is a medical humanitarian organisation that saves lives and provides relief where it is most needed. Doctors Without Borders assists people afflicted by crisis, war and natural disaster regardless of their political stance, religion or ethnicity.

Returpack is a privately-owned company whose objective is to increase the recycling of metal cans and plastic bottles in Sweden. They have been assigned this mission by their owners, the beverage trade organisation Brewers of Sweden and the food retail trade organisations Livsmedelshandlarna and Svensk Dagligvaruhandel. Returpack takes in more than 1.65 billion cans and PET bottles each year, which makes Sweden a leader in the recycling of PET bottles and cans.

Swedavia owns, operates and develops ten airports across Sweden. Their role is to create the access Sweden needs to facilitate travel, business and meetings. Swedavia is a world leader in developing airports with the least possible environmental impact.