If you're flying in or out of San Francisco International Airport and want a drink of water, you'd better have your own bottle. Starting Tuesday, plastic water bottle sales are banned at the airport.
SFO says the ban pertains to purified water, mineral water, carbonated or sparkling water, and electrolyte-enhanced water. It does not include flavored drinks such as sodas, teas, or juices.
It's the first rule of its kind for a major American airport, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, as the airport seeks to cut single-use plastics that are ending up in landfills and oceans. The airport said before the ban, it averaged 10,000 water bottles sold every day.
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The new rule applies to restaurants, cafes and vending machines in the airport. Passengers who want basic water will need to bring a refillable bottle or buy one at the airport. The airport has more than 100 wall-mounted water dispensers where travelers can fill their bottles with free, filtered water. A reminder that your refillable bottle needs to be empty when you go through security.
According to the Chronicle, the airport is following an ordinance approved in 2014 banning the sale of plastic water bottles on city-owned property. Airport vendors reportedly are already required to provide only compostable single-use foodware such as utensils, straws and to-go containers.
A 2017 analysis by The Guardian found that one million plastic bottles were bought around the world every minute, with that number expected to increase 20% by 2021.