Most travelers welcome sale ban of single-use plastic water bottles at San Francisco International Airport

ByMelanie Woodrow KGO logo
Saturday, August 3, 2019
Travelers welcome ban of plastic water bottles at SFO
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Travelers we spoke to welcome the sale ban of single-use plastic water bottles at San Francisco International Airport on August 2, 2019.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- In a few weeks, you will no longer be able to buy plastic water bottles at San Francisco International Airport.

A new rule will ban restaurants and vending machines from selling single-use plastic water bottles. The ban prohibits the plastic water bottles at airline lounges too.

You will still be able to purchase water at SFO in recyclable aluminum, glass or compostable packaging.

This is part of SFO's plan to cut carbon emissions, energy use and landfill waste by 20-21.

The ban begins August 20.

"A single plastic bottle takes anywhere from 500 to 1000 years to biodegrade, so tremendous impact on the environment and we're talking a place that sells 10-thousand of them per day, so we've really got the ability to move the dial here," said SFO Spokesperson Doug Yakel.

"I think it's a good thing we need to be more environmentally friendly and if airports don't lead the way who will," said Erica Scannelli, a San Francisco resident.

"I think it's a step in the right direction. It's pretty easy to bring your own bottle and they have machines that you can fill them with and why not," said Megan Jessop, who lives in Indiana.

SFO has approximately 100 refill stations throughout the airport

"Who doesn't have a reusable water bottle nowadays," Scannelli said.

The ban applies to all forms of unflavored water, still water, sparkling water and water infused with electrolytes.

The ban does not apply to flavored waters, teas, juices or sodas, but that could change in the future.

"I'm all for the environmental aspect of it going green. I bring my own water bottle with me so it doesn't affect me as much. I do think it will cause an inconvenience for a lot of people," said another traveler, who lives in San Francisco.

"I do miss plastic straws though," the traveler continued. The airport still has those if you ask.

Other airports are considering the move and looking to SFO for advice. Yakel declined to share which cities have been in contact.