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San Francisco International Airport is leading the way in the fight against plastic waste, having banned the sale of water in plastic bottles and invited travellers to use water fountains.

Single-use bottles account for much of the world’s plastic waste. In response, San Francisco International Airport (SFO) has taken the radical step of banning the sale of plastic bottles of water in all its stores, as reported by CNN. A world first, the ban came into force on 20 August. Nearly four million plastic bottles were sold at the airport every year. 

An ambitious programme

The ban forms part of the Californian airport’s zero waste programme. Launched in 2016, it aims to reduce paper use by 30 per cent, implement a waste sorting plan and halt the sale of plastic bags.

“It’s a big step for the airport. It only strengthens our green initiative,” said Doug Yakel, SFO’s information officer. Back in March, the airport began moving away from single-use plastic food-service ware and utensils.

Water fountains

In addition to banning plastic bottles, SFO has installed around a hundred water fountains, which passengers can use to fill their own water bottles. The airport’s stores will also sell approved glass and aluminium water bottles.

The ban does not apply, however, to bottles of flavoured drinks, such as soda, iced tea, coffee and juice.

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Cover photo credits: duncan_idaho_2007/Flickr

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