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Passing Through San Francisco? You’ll No Longer Be Able To Purchase Plastic Bottles

By Kelsey Marie

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If you’re passing through San Francisco, you’ll no longer be able to purchase water bottles made of plastic.

Starting August 20, San Francisco International Airport (SFO) will be getting rid of all single-use plastic water bottles. This ban includes bottled water in plastic containers or plastic-lined cartons in SFO’s shops, restaurants, and vending machines.

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

The elimination of single-use plastic bottles is a part of the Zero Waste SFO program.

Although the ban excludes flavored water and sodas, it includes sparkling water and electrolyte-enhanced water. Vendors will be able to sell drinking water in glass aluminum and certified compostable bottles.

Bringing your own water bottle is encouraged and you’ll be able to refill them at “hydration stations” throughout SFO.


The airport has installed more than 100 of these filling stations since 2011 with plans to add more during SFO renovations.

According to Chronicle, SFO vendors sell approximately 4 million plastic water bottles per year.

In addition to the ban being part of SFO’s sustainable food and beverage initiative, it also is a part of San Francisco’s plastic reduction laws.

All restaurants and cafes at SFO have been required to use compostable or natural utensils starting earlier this year.

SFO also requires single-use paper and plastic straws to be given to customers only if they ask for them.

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Kelsey Marie

Kelsey-Marie is an NYC girl who currently lives in Johannesburg, South Africa.

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