CHICAGO - JULY 27: Bottle of Pepsi's Aquafina water sits on a shelf next to other brands of bottled water at a Walgreens store July 27, 2007 in Chicago, Illinois. Pepsi announced today that the labels on its Aquafina water will be changed to say the product is tap water. Coke acknowledged in 2004 that its Dasani water was tap water. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

San Francisco International Airport Bans Plastic Water Bottles

If you are planning on visiting San Francisco International Airport in the near future, make sure you have your reusable water bottle in tow. Beginning Tuesday, plastic water bottle sales will be forbidden at the airport.

This initiative is part of SFO’s goal to achieve zero landfill waste by 2021. Fliers who want regular water will need to buy a reusable water bottle if they forget there’s at home. If you do bring a bottle from home, it will need to be empty when going through security. There will be over 100 hydration stations for water refills for passenger’s convenience.

The new no-plastic bottle rule will apply to vending machines, restaurants, and cafes in the airport.  It will not apply to bottles of flavored drinks like soda, tea, and juice.

SFO is the first sizable airport in America to implement a plastic water bottle ban. According to SFO, they were averaging 10,000 single-use water bottles sold each day.

“We’re the first airport that we’re aware of to implement this change,” SFO spokesman Doug Yakel said. “We’re on the leading edge for the industry, and we want to push the boundaries of sustainability initiatives.”

It is unknown if shops who continue to sell plastic water bottles once the rule goes into effect will be penalized. There is no timetable for when other plastic bottles that hold beverages other than water will be banned.

“Our hope is that the industry continues to expand,” Yakel said. “There’s really not a lot of good alternatives yet for teas, juices and sodas, but we’re hoping that changes over time.”

The goal is to help climate change and encourage other major airports to follow in their footsteps and create a no-plastic policy. Plastic water bottles produce a substantial amount of unnecessary waste that could be avoided by using reusable bottles.

Click here for more information on SFO’s hydration stations.