Plastics take a nosedive at Chicago airports

By Rikki Stancich

Plastics take a nosedive at Chicago airports

From this week, O’Hare and Midway International airports will close the chapter on styrofoam packaging, petroleum-based plastic bags, containers and utensils being used within the airports, as part of a wider sustainability effort being rolled out by the Chicago Department of Aviation.

The Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) has adopted new sustainability policies and standards that all concessionaires at O’Hare and Midway must adhere to. All existing concessionaires are required to adopt and implement the policy by no later than the end of 2013.

Other key measures include sustainable procurement, such as using recycled paper and environmentally friendly cleaning and hygiene products; separating waste streams for recycling; and donating surplus food where possible.

The CDA is also rolling out guidance on its Sustainable Airport Manual. The manual aims to ensure that sustainable planning and practices are integrated from new project conception through to planning, construction, and everyday operations and maintenance of all airport functions. In 2011, the CDA unveiled its Green Airplane Rating system for concessions and tenants. So far, more than one hundred projects have been rated.

The CDA will be conducting outreach and training to all concessionaires over the coming months to ensure their compliance.

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