(CNN) — Air travelers to and from the City by the Bay will now experience water in new ways.
What the ban includes
Purified water, carbonated or sparkling water, mineral water and electrolyte-enhanced water are all officially banned. This means airport vendors, including vending machines, can no longer sell or provide free bottled water in a plastic bottle, a sealed box, can or other container intended primarily for single-service use and having a capacity of 1 liter or less.
Critics may wonder if the new water-bottle ban is truly green or just greenwashing — falsely conveying that environmental responsibility has been factored into its operations. After all, the initiative does not apply to bottles of flavored drinks, such as soda, iced tea, coffee and juice.
Others, though, see the step-by-step progress made by SFO, the code for the city’s airport. Earlier this year, for instance, the airport transitioned away from single-use plastic food-service ware and utensils.
Annually, SFO generates more than 28 million pounds of waste, including about 10,000 water bottles sold daily — amounting to nearly 4 million each year, according to the airport. Consider, too, that scientists estimate a single plastic bottle takes anywhere from 450 to 1,000 years to biodegrade.
And, just as Mother Earth is finding it difficult to process all this plastic, our human bodies may be experiencing the same problem.
Banning plastics could improve your health
If bottled water (and not tap) is our only source of hydration, annual plastic particle intake via drinking water is estimated to be approximately 75,000 for boys, 127,000 for men, 64,000 for girls and 93,000 for women, the researchers noted.
CNN’s Alisha Ebrahimji contributed to this report.