SFO Puts a Ban on Plastic Water Bottles
Updated: Nov 13, 2019
San Fransisco Airport joins in to do its part in changing out Earth.
An example of a hydration station at the San Francisco International Airport, courtesy of the SFO Website.
The San Francisco International Airport (SFO) has officially banned all plastic water bottles from being sold in the facility as of August 24. This ban includes restaurants, shops and vending machines and is part of the airport’s program to convert the facility to a zero “waste-to-landfill” airport by 2021. Water can now only be purchased in reusable aluminum and glass containers, both of which are recyclable.
The airport has also implemented the installation of more than 100 “hydration stations” around the terminals where travelers can refill the bottles they either brought from home or purchased at the airport. Each hydration station is cleaned daily and the water is tested every day.
SFO is adamant about telling the public how clean their water supply is; it comes from the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir in Yosemite National Park, as well as two local watersheds.
Other regulations of this zero-waste program include: all prepared food and beverages being served with reusable or Business Processed Improvement (BPI)-certified compostable food-service ware with no fluorinated chemicals; straws only being available upon request; utensils only being available at self-service kiosks or upon request; and reusable cups being utilized at events with more than 100 attendees.
The response by airport attendees to the ban on plastic water bottles is extremely mixed. Many people realize how important it is to stop using plastic with the world’s current environmental crisis involving pollution and global warming, and hope other large corporations will follow SFO’s initiative to ban plastic water bottles. Others are concerned about long lines at hydration stations, since airports are always busy places, and waiting in lines for getting water may cause someone to miss a flight.
“The best step is having a team of people evaluate the materials that are needed and used in a particular industry and working backward from there,” said Petaluma High School’s AP Environmental Science teacher, Kris Camacho, on what she believes could be done by large corporations to take steps towards more sustainability. Still, SFO is taking steps in order to save the planet and hopefully, other large facilities will eventually follow these progressive footsteps.