San Francisco International Airport headlined this month with its new ban on plastic water bottles – a step toward the goal of becoming the first airport with zero waste in the world. However, with the ban coming into effect on August 20, there is one major loophole: plastic water bottles larger than a liter can still be sold.
As confirmed on the SFO website, "This policy covers drinking water in a sealed box, bag, box, bottle or other container intended primarily for single use and with a capacity of 1 liter or less."
Perhaps a more The exact name for the policy would be the Tiny Plastic Water Bottle Ban.
MORE INFO: SFO prohibits the sale of water in plastic bottles
Nor does the plastic ban apply to flavored drinks, including soft drinks, teas and juices, so travelers can still get their fake seltzer fix. It applies to restaurants, cafes and vending machines at the airport – but not drinks served on the plane.
While SFO flyers can still load on giant plastic water bottles, if they are looking for a more manageable size, they will have to buy a disposable aluminum recyclable bottle, recyclable glass or compostable packaging – or just bring a reusable bottle . These can be refilled at some of SFO's approximately 100 hydration stations.
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The airport hopes to achieve zero waste going to landfill by 2021, so expect more new environmentally friendly changes in the near future.
Madeline Wells is the editorial assistant for SFGate. Email: email@example.com | Twitter: @ madwells22