backarrow Mactan-Cebu International Airport sets sights on becoming country’s first plastic-free airport

September 11, 2019

The Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA), the Philippines’ resort-airport, has showed tremendous progress in its Going Green Campaign after banning the use of non-biodegradable single-use plastics and polystyrene containers in restaurants and shops inside the hub.

Beginning August 1, 2019, Philippines AirAsia is set to commence operation of its direct service to Kaohsiung International Airport from Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA). AirAsia will service the Cebu-Kaohsiung route thrice weekly every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday using an Airbus A320 aircraft.

Starting this year, MCIA private operator GMR MEGAWIDE Cebu Airport Corporation (GMCAC) prohibited its concessionaires from using the non-biodegradable single-use plastics and polystyrene containers in restaurants and retail stores located in Terminals 1 and 2. Under the policy, GMCAC encourages the use of eco-friendly and reusable substitutes.

To date, 80% of the concessionaires are already using biodegradable alternatives such as plant starch utensils, paper cups and straws, wood stirrers, paper bags, and carton boxes for takeaway food.

“We took this step forward starting with our commercial partners as our commitment to environmental sustainability,” said - GMCAC chief executive advisor- Andrew Acquaah-Harrison.

“In 2018, MCIA produced a monthly average of 3,500-kilograms (kgs) of plastic waste from its restaurants and shops. This is now down by close to 30% or a decrease of around 12,000-kgs per year,” Harrison added.

GMCAC also holds regular information and education campaigns for all airport concessionaires and stakeholders to raise awareness on the impacts of plastic use on the environment.

Other environmental initiatives

Meanwhile, GMCAC underlined its other initiatives as part of its commitment to environmental sustainability.

Since August 2017, GMCAC has been using 6,300 solar panels on the roof of Terminal 1 to supply electricity for the airport. This made MCIA the first solar-powered airport in the Philippines. On a monthly average, the solar panel system produces 196,800 Kwh and provides for 30% of the electricity requirements of the domestic terminal.