SFO To Ban Single-Use Plastic Water Bottles
Beginning August 20, San Francisco International Airport (SFO) will ban the sales of single-use plastic water bottles in an effort to reduce waste. The prohibition, a first for a major U.S. airport, will apply to restaurants, cafes and vending machines. Refillable aluminum and glass bottles will be for sale at the airport for travelers looking for plain water. Soft drinks, juice and flavored water are not impacted by this ban.
The plastic bottle ban is part of SFO’s larger strategy to eliminate landfill waste and cut net carbon emissions and energy consumption to zero by 2021. Its Terminal 2 was the country’s first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold-certified airport building and its Airfield Operations Facility’s rooftop solar array has allowed the building to achieve a Zero Net Energy certification.
SFO is also following an ordinance passed by the San Francisco municipal government in 2014 banning sales of plastic water bottles at all city-owned property. And in a process that began in 2011, the airport has installed more than 100 “hydration stations” throughout the property that offer free, filtered water.
San Francisco may not have the only airport with limitations on single-use plastics for long. This month, Amir Farokhi, an Atlanta, Georgia, city council member, introduced legislation that would ban the items from city-owned buildings, including Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The proposal, along with a companion resolution asking the city to work with private retailers to replicate the plastics ban at venues like grocery stores and stadiums, is set to go before Atlanta city government’s Transportation and Finance/Executive Committees on August 14.