San Francisco airport to ban sale of plastic bottles

SAN FRANCISCO • San Francisco International Airport is banning the sale of single-use plastic bottles and will require fliers to buy refillable bottles if they are not already carrying their own, US media reported.

The new rule comes into effect on Aug 20, the San Francisco Chronicle reported, and is part of a five-year plan to lower landfill waste, net carbon emissions and net energy use to zero.

"We're the first airport that we're aware of to implement this change," airport spokesman Doug Yakel told the newspaper. "We're on the leading edge for the industry, and we want to push the boundaries of sustainability initiatives." The ban will apply to all restaurants, cafes and vending machines, though not to planes using the airport. It exempts brands of flavoured water.

Filtered water is provided for free at 100 "hydration stations", where fliers can top up glass or metal bottles.

The airport describes itself as an industry leader in sustainability, installing solar panels and instructing all tenants to use fully compostable food ware, including straws and utensils.

Airports in Dubai and India have announced similar plastic bottle bans, but have yet to fully implement them.

The city of San Francisco banned the sale of plastic water bottles on city-owned property in 2014, but allowed delays and granted certain exemptions.

The airport describes itself as an industry leader in sustainability, installing solar panels and instructing all tenants to use fully compostable food ware, including straws and utensils.

Global plastic production has grown rapidly, and is currently at more than 400 million tonnes per year.

Single-use items represent about 70 per cent of the plastic waste littering the marine environment.

Each year, a million birds and more than 100,000 marine mammals worldwide are injured or killed by becoming entangled in plastic, such as fishing nets, or ingesting it through the food chain.

Canada and the European Union have pledged to ban single-use plastics starting in 2021.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on August 04, 2019, with the headline 'San Francisco airport to ban sale of plastic bottles'. Print Edition | Subscribe