Reusable water bottles have never been so stylish, especially in San Francisco. On August 20, the San Francisco International Airport (SFO) will ban the sale of single-use plastic water bottles.
The ban encompasses purified water, mineral water, carbonated or sparkling water, and electrolyte-enhanced water served in single-use plastic bottles or aseptic paper packaging, the airport’s website says. It does not include flavored water, juice or soda, or apply to services on airlines.
“We’re the first airport that we’re aware of to implement this change,” SFO spokesman Doug Yakel told the San Francisco Chronicle. “We’re on the leading edge for the industry, and we want to push the boundaries of sustainability initiatives.”
SFO airport vendors collectively sell about 4 million plastic water bottles every year. The bottle ban is a part of SFO’s larger plan to eliminate most landfill waste by 2021. Airport vendors were previously instructed to only provide compostable food service ware, including to-go containers, disposable cutlery, condiment packets, and more. A law banning plastic straws also went into effect in San Francisco in July.
The bottle ban will come as a shock to many travelers passing through SFO, but for San Francisco natives the change has been a long time coming. The legislation was originally introduced in 2014.
Glass bottles and aluminum cans are among the eco-friendly alternatives that water will be sold in. But remember, you don’t need to buy water. SFO has installed more than 100 hydration stations since 2011 where fliers can fill up their reusable bottles with filtered water.
And remember, people stayed hydrated even before the plastic bottle boom that the 90s dumped on us.