SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (KPIX) — San Francisco International Airport is making history by becoming the first major U.S. airport to ban the sale of single-use plastic water bottles, a spokesperson confirmed Friday.
“I think it’s a fantastic idea,” said traveler Cindy Bradley. “We can’t go on like this, we have to put a stop to all the plastic.”
The ban, which begins August 20, is for the sale of plastic water bottles in restaurants, shops, cafes and vending machines. Instead, water can be sold in recyclable aluminum, glass or compostable bottles.
“I live in New Zealand, we’ve just recently introduced a law to outlaw single-use plastic bags,” Bradley said. “At first we felt like that’s going to be way too hard — we can’t do it — but you know what? It’s easy so people get used to it and we have to do the right thing by Planet Earth.”
SFO is no stranger to sustainability. The airport has installed solar panels and xeriscaping. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, vendors have been asked to provide compostable foodware, including containers and condiment packets.
SFO has made a goal to become the world’s first zero-waste airport by 2021.
The move is in line with the airport’s effort to reduce landfill waste and energy use. It also conforms to the 2014 ban of the sale of plastic water bottles on city-owned property. The airport is on land owned by the city of San Francisco.
“Plastic is not environmentally safe but, on the other hand, what are we going to do?” said Yianna Gassoumis, who travels frequently through SFO. “I guess that’s the sign of the times — no plastic bags, no plastic bottles.”
Travelers can still bring their own plastic or reusable water bottles because, on the other side of TSA, are dozens of hydration stations which disperse water for free.
“It’s a simple thing to do to help the earth,” said Bradley. “I absolutely support it.”