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Swamp airports with trash

I am surely not the only one to complain about the ridiculous liquids restrictions for airplane travel. Since these new regulation are in place, I've challenged them, found holes, and compiled tips for those trying to blow up planes.

I wouldn't write another story if it weren't for an idea I've had at Zurich airport on my last trip to London: let's swamp the airports with trash so that they'll be forced to deal with Brussels and IATA to return to normal.

After checking in for my flight, I stopped by the supermarket to buy two containers of yoghurt that would make someone happy. The containers each said 150g (that's weight, not volume) on them, and I put them into a clear, resealable one-litre bag, placed them into a tray to be x-ray-scanned separately, only to have them confiscated.

After discovering (not much to my surprise) that the security staff didn't know the difference between weight and volume, nor understood the concept of density, I got a chance to speak to the head security officer (surrounded by five police whose attention I'd gotten), and learnt that Zurich airport has one ton of trash to discard every day, Frankfurt supposedly has to deal with four.

As I was walking onto my plane, I tried to think of non-recyclable containers that we could fill with liquids to bring along to increase that amount. My theory was that once the trash problem became too massive, the airports would have to deal with the authorities to resolve this liquid restriction, because it seems quite clear that normal people have no way to influence choices made that affect our "safety".

Unfortunately, I see two problems:

First, we'd be dealing with trash and hence face all the environmental concerns. The airports do not recycle the millions of PET bottles they confiscate every day, so we shouldn't make that worse. Unfortunately, I cannot think of another liquid container that wouldn't come with similar concerns.

Second, the airports might have the burden, but they won't carry the cost of all the trash. In fact, thanks to the security theatre related to liquids, we already pay higher airport taxes and charges. Surely it can't be in our interest to push that further up the scale.

So in the end, swamping airports with trash doesn't seem like a viable way forward, unfortunately.

I wish I knew what to do. I wish that the decision makers at IATA would finally admit that they overreacted and revert to normal, with sensible security measures, which focus on fending off the real threats, not fake ones. Unfortunately, nobody likes to admit that they were wrong, especially not when the decision is heavily backed up by the lobby of vending machine companies and restaurant owners, who benefit greatly from these ridiculous liquid safety measures.

NP: Pulp: We Love Life