International Travel

Joanita Wibowo

San Francisco International Airport to ban plastic water bottles

San Francisco International Airport to ban plastic water bottles

Travellers flying out of San Francisco International airport will no longer be able to buy plastic-bottled water before their flight.

Starting August 20, the airport (SFO) will only allow water to be sold in glass, recycled aluminium or certified compostable materials. The new rule will apply to the airport’s convenience stores, restaurants and vending machines.

While travellers are still prohibited from bringing filled water bottles from outside, they can bring empty disposable plastic water bottles to refill at one of over 100 water hydration stations installed at the airport.

The move, which follows the ban on single-use food utensils in March, is part of SFO’s goal of becoming the world’s first zero-waste airport by 2021.

“We waited until now because a few years back there was really no market in place to provide an alternative to water in a plastic bottle,” said Doug Yakel, SFO’s public information officer.

“This is a big move for the airport … it just further supports our green initiative.”

Yakel said he hopes the rule can encourage more manufacturers to use plastic-free packaging.

“We’re hoping that as the demand from retailers increases, there’s an increasing supply of water that’s bottled in something recyclable,” Yakel said. “We’re hoping to drive that industry as well.”