San Francisco Airport to Ban Sale of Bottled Water, Per New City Ordinance

Passengers typically cannot bring their own water bottles through airport security and to their terminal, forcing them to buy bottled water inside. In San Francisco, even that will be impossible beginning later this month.

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) will ban the sale of bottled water beginning August 20 to coincide with a new city law set to take effect. The airport is owned by the city of San Francisco, which aims to eliminate the sale or use of single-use plastic on city property. It does not pertain to sodas, tea or juices, though.

Here is the law written by the city:

"Effective August 20, water to be sold in recyclable aluminum, glass or BPI-certified compostable bottles. The policy applies to purified water, mineral water, carbonated or sparkling water, and electrolyte-enhanced water, but does not include flavored beverages such as sodas, teas, or juices."

The new law will mean travelers must find new ways to consume water through the international airport. First, there's canned water, but one you pop it open, you can't screw the top back on and will have to drink it at once.

Second, there's the option of buying it in a glass bottle, which weighs more than plastic and it can possibly shatter inside a bag. Then there's a third option of bringing a reusable bottle and filling it with water at a hydration station, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

The Chronicle says the best option is to purchase water in aluminum bottles and keep them for future trips.

ABC News reported that SFO vendors have sold 4 million plastic water bottles in previous years, a number that's sure to take a hit.

Here is a list of bottled water available at SFO, per the San Francisco Chronicle.

One of the vendors listed is Drop Water, which distributes water in bottles that are 100 percent compostable. A company spokesperson said kiosks could soon be available at SFO.

"We don't have any kiosks at SFO yet, although we are an approved vendor there and hope to place kiosks now that the plastic bottle ban is going into effect,"the representative said. "We do have kiosks in both terminals at Mineta San Jose Airport, so SFO seems like a natural next step."

No contracts have been signed yet between SFO and Drop Water, but they could be executed in the near future.

The plastic water bottle ban also extends into private and executive airport lounges, according to the report.

Plastic Water Bottles
A selection of closeups of plastic water bottles on June 26, 2019 in Cardiff, United Kingdom. Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images