The bottled water ban is part of the airport's effort to become the world’s first zero-waste airport by 2021
The San Francisco Intl. Airport (SFO) has added plastic bottled water to its list of restricted food service items.
According to CNN, the ban is part of its effort to become the world’s first zero-waste airport by 2021. The initiative starts Aug. 20, 2019. The ban includes purified water, carbonated or sparkling water, mineral water and electrolyte-enhanced water. However, there are loopholes to the new policy.
Vendors are still able to sell water in plastic containers larger than 1 liter and the ban does not apply to flavored beverages, including soda, teas and juices, according to the Washington Examiner. Single-use bottled water can be still be sold if it is made of recyclable aluminum, glass or compostable packaging. Empty disposable plastic water bottles also can be filled up at any the airport’s water fountains and hydration stations, according to CNN.
“Passenger activity at SFO generates approximately 28 million lb of waste annually, and SFO is committed to ensuring this waste does not end up in a landfill,” the airport said, according to the Washington Examiner.
Doug Yakel, a spokesman for the airport, said that prior to the ban, the airport sold around 10,000 bottles of water every day, which generated about 28 million lb of waste a year, according to CBS News.
“Each guest that comes through the airport produces half a pound of trash,” the airport said to CBS News. “To eliminate that waste, the airport has already cut back on single-use food items like napkins and straws.”
The airport will first sell off what is still on store shelves, and once they run out of inventory, passengers will be encouraged to use one of the hydration stations where they can fill up their own reusable container, according to CBS News. Water in glass and aluminum containers also will be available for purchase.