What Schiphol does with seized perfume and liquor bottles

If you bought a nice bottle of wine or liquor on holiday, only to have it seized at Security – you’re not alone! We have seized items from thousands of unlucky travellers over the years, usually when those items are not sealed correctly or exceed the maximum amount permitted. We then throw those items in a refuse container.

You may be surprised to learn that we seize around 50,000 litres of liquor and perfume every year. None of it ends up back on the shelves, or taken away and used by our staff members! However, the rules are clear – we are obliged by law to destroy all seized items. We used to incinerate everything, which is unsustainable in the long-term.

Fortunately, the waste processing company SUEZ came up with a modified version of the ‘bottlenecker’. It’s a great solution for us which eliminates the need to incinerate the seized items. The bottlenecker is the same technology used by cafes and restaurants to grind up glass bottles. Whereas traditional machines could only process empty bottles, ours can process bottles that contain liquids.

Because our ‘Bottlenecker 2.0’ can separate glass and liquids, it’s ideal for processing drinks and perfumes. The glass is finely ground and the liquids are drained and purified after separation. The ground-up glass is then recycled into new bottles. That way, they can be refilled with liquids again – and make a full circle.

To ensure that you don’t come home with a headache, be sure to check exactly what you can and can’t bring with you!