An airport has been recognised for its support of foodbanks.

Stansted Airport won a gold award for one of its schemes at the Green Apple Awards for Environmental Best Practice.

The scheme began as a trial in 2017 for donating non-perishable food, drink and toiletry items which had to be surrendered by passengers and giving them to foodbanks across Essex, Uttlesford, and East Hertfordshire.

Now a permanent initiative, it has contributed to supporting more than 3,000 families and is run entirely by airport staff who volunteer time to sort and transport donations.

In the first three months, Stansted’s collection scheme donated 2.4 tonnes, which is five per cent of the total collected for the entire year.

Stansted’s environmental manager Martin Churley collected the award at the event held at the Houses of Parliament this week.

He said: “London Stansted Airport has invested £30,000 in recycling equipment and, alongside volunteers, identifies food products and toiletries which could easily and safely be given away to support the vulnerable.

"The variety of products we collect varies hugely, from shampoo, olive oil through to cake and coffee.

"The most commonly collected products are marmite, peanut butter and jam.

“We also worked with the Department for Transport and our security teams to ensure the process was considered safe and signed off by Government.

"As well as supporting local families, the scheme helps our staff stay connected with the communities around the airport.

As a result of this Green Apple Award success, Stansted Airport has been invited to have its winning paper published in The Green Book, an international work of reference on environmental best practice, so that others around the world can follow this example.

The airport could also progress to represent the UK in the Green World Awards 2019 and have 100 trees planted in its name as part of the United Nations Billion Trees initiative.