San Francisco’s international airport has become one of the world’s first airports to ban the sale of plastic-bottled water.
The airport (SFO), which in July clamped down on the use of single-use plastic straws following an initiative by the city of San Francisco, has now banned convenience shops, restaurants and vending machines from selling water in plastic bottles.
From August 20, water can only be sold within the airport in glass, recycled aluminium or certified compostable materials.
The airport said on its website that the change was part of a five-year strategic plan by the airport to becoming a zero “waste-to-landfill” facility by 2021.
According to SFO, each airport guest creates about 225 grams of rubbish, so to reduce some of that waste it is also eliminating single-use food accessories, such as napkins, coffee cups and chopsticks.
It is also banning items “unsubstantiated claims” about their sustainability, according to a report in The Guardian, with packing touted as “environmentally friendly” or “bio-based” having to be approved by the Biodegradable Plastics Institute (BPI).
SFO has installed about 100 water-bottle filling stations, and ordered restaurants give customers only single-use accessories, such as condiment packets upon request.
The move comes as the South Australian state government pushes to ban single-use plastics.
After seeking input on what any future phase-out or replacement of single-use plastic might look like, the government was inundated by organisations coming forward to be part of the state’s first plastic-free precinct.
It has received expressions of interest from retailers, trading groups, councils and disability advocates to take part in the plastic-free trial.
Environment minister David Speirs said the first step was working with the precincts to reduce single-use plastics and test innovative solutions and alternatives.
“We can’t continue on our current path with no plan to address the impact of single-use plastics,” Mr Speirs said.
“The community will lead the change in behaviour as part of SA’s first trials into plastic-free living.”