SAN FRANCISCO INT’L AIRPORT (KPIX 5) – Sales of single-use plastic bottles are coming to an end at San Francisco International Airport, as SFO looks for ways to help protect the environment.

Beginning Tuesday, bottles are being eliminated from the airport’s restaurants, shops, cafes and vending machines. Instead, water will be sold in recyclable aluminum, glass or compostable containers. Airport officials said in a statement that the bottles will not disappear overnight, as vendors will still sell existing stock until supplies are depleted.

Passengers are also being encouraged to bring empty reusable water bottles and fill them up at dozens of free hydration stations located past the TSA checkpoints.

“For an airport that sells about 10,000 bottles of water per day, generates about 28 million pounds of waste per year. This is a really big thing that we can impact in terms of having waste not going into landfill,” SFO spokesperson Doug Yakel said.

Sales of flavored beverages that come in plastic bottles, such as sodas, teas or juices, will not be affected by the ban. Also, the ban on single-use plastic bottles only applies to the airport and not to the carriers that fly in and out of SFO.

The airport has made it a goal to become the world’s first zero-waste airport by 2021.

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