In an out-of-the-blue announcement, San Francisco International Airport declared that H2O in plastic bottles will no longer be welcome at SFO, the first such move for any major U.S. airport.
We’ve gotten used to being forced to dump liquids at TSA checkpoints for years, but San Francisco International Airport is making an unprecedented, and frankly laudable move to further excommunicate commonly consumed liquids. Specifically bottled water, which represents a massive global environmental nuisance. In a surprise announcement reported by the San Francisco Chronicle, SFO will ban the sale of single-use plastic water bottles at all restaurants, cafes, vending machines and shop in the airport. You can still bring your own bottle, though shops will only sell refillable glass or aluminum bottles.
The ban takes effect August 20, less than three weeks from today.
“We’re the first airport that we’re aware of to implement this change,” SFO spokesperson Doug Yakel the Chronicle. “We’re on the leading edge for the industry, and we want to push the boundaries of sustainability initiatives.”
The Chron estimates that SFO sells four million plastic water bottles every year, so it’s a pretty significant disruption to travelers. The move is probably the most bold of any of the airport’s recent sustainability measures, which also include requiring restaurants to use compostable plates and utensils, and the addition of rooftop solar power. San Francisco International has been recognized as one of the most environmentally friendly in the country.
It bears noting that bottled water is one of the most ridiculously marked up items at airports nationwide, having long passed the $5 mark for a measly 12-ounce bottle of water. That said, the reusable bottles you’ll be forced to buy instead will surely be more expensive. Traveler Tony Vargas probably captured how most of us feel about the impending bottled water ban coming to SFO.
When the Chronicle asked Vargas what he thinks about it, he said, “It’s great — kind of.”
Image: TheDigitel Myrtle Beach via Flickr