Plastic water bottle ban takes effect at SFO


A hydration station at SFO. These free, touch-free, sensor-operated water bottle refill stations provide access to tap water.

Starting on Tuesday, retailers at San Francisco International Airport will be prohibited from selling customers water in plastic bottles. According to the new rule, retailers, restaurants, airline lounges and vending machines at the airport will now be required to serve water in aluminum, glass or compostable bottles.

According to airport officials, the move to ban plastic water bottles is part of a larger effort to move toward zero waste. Back in 2016, the airport set a goal to achieve a zero waste policy by 2021. As part of that goal, the airport has already required restaurants to provide customers with single-use food ware in compostable packaging.

SFO generates more than 28 million pounds of waste annually, airport officials said. With the new rule, the airport is encouraging travelers to bring reusable beverage containers with them and fill them up at any one of the nearly 100 fee hydration stations throughout the airport. The new plastic bottle ban only applies to water and doesn’t apply to flavored beverages like soda, juice or tea.

More information about the airport’s new rule can be found at

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