Goods confiscated from passengers at airport security in Nice are being given to the charity Restos du Coeur in an initiative that could be copied elsewhere in France.
Items were destroyed
Airports have been confiscating tonnes of goods each year from passengers since new flight safety rules were introduced in 2006, including a limit of 100ml for liquids carried in the cabin.
Until now, they have been sent for destruction.
Reuse half of the confiscated goods
Under the Nice initiative, however, volunteers from Restos du Coeur collect confiscated goods twice a week from Terminal 2, taking with them between 70kg and 100kg of goods.
Half of the confiscated goods are suitable to give to charity, according to the airport, with the donation usually divided equally between food, drink and bathroom products such as toothpaste and shampoo.
Actor set up charity in Paris
Restos du Coeur was set up in 1985 to distribute food packages and hot meals to those in need, whether they be homeless or low-income.
Read more: Restos du Coeur is more than food
It is the brainchild of French actor and comedian Coluche, who said he was appalled to see people starving on the streets of France.
During its first winter campaign, more than 5,000 volunteers distributed some 8.5 million meals.
Charity spread to other towns
Restos du Coeur was initially run as soup kitchens in Paris, but has expanded into nearly every French town, where ‘supermarkets’ of donated goods are made available to ensure households have essential items in the cupboard at the end of the month.
New service good reduce donations
A number of airports in France, including Marseille, Nice, Ajaccio and Charles de Gaulle in Paris, have also been trialling a system where, for a fee, confiscated items can be collected later at the airport, or posted onwards.
Called Tripperty, it is a partnership between ADP, the company which runs Paris airports, and La Poste.
Fees are €10 to pick up goods later and from €16 to have them posted on.
It is claimed the service has already been used 20,000 times.
The same system allows passengers to donate the item to a charity.