More than 32 million people fly through LAX every day, and now, none of these passengers will be able to purchase a single-use plastic bottle of water at the Los Angeles airport.
A recent Facebook post from LAX stated, “Effective today, LAX will ban the sale of single-use plastic water bottles. With ample water bottle refill stations across our terminals, we encourage guests to bring reusable water bottles to avoid waste. Adopted by the Board of Airport Commissioners on July 8, 2021, the policy aims to reduce plastic waste generated at LAWA facilities and move towards zero waste.”
The LAWA, or Los Angeles World Airport, created a Sustainability Action plan which plans to make its airports entirely zero-waste by 2045, as well as developing a fully renewable electric profile and minimizing gray water.
LAX is only the second airport in the world to ban single-use plastic water bottles. San Francisco International Airport (SFO) instated its ban in 2019, which, as of 2021, included all other beverages in plastic bottles.
The LAWA feels that eliminating the use of plastic water bottles from its airports is the right choice for the airports, communities, and, of course, the environment. Because of the tens of millions of people that fly through these airports, by refusing to sell plastic, they can seriously cut down on the amount of generated trash.
They also hope that this decision will decrease the number of plastic bottles that end up in landfills or, worse, in the environment surrounding LAX and the greater Los Angele area.
But what does this actually mean for consumers that fly through LAX? Although they will no longer be able to purchase water bottles, LAX has promised that there will be sufficient water refill stations placed throughout the airport to ensure that clean drinking water is always available.
However, that does mean that passengers will need to come prepared with their own water bottles in order to use the refill stations. Though if you do come prepared with your reusable water bottle, the upside is now that instead of spending $8 on water, you’ll be able to use the refill station for free.
It’s also important to note that, at this time, the single-plastic water bottle ban only applies to the actual airport. That means that plastic water bottles will still be available on flights to and from LAX.
Although there will certainly be some people who are disappointed by the fact that they cannot buy a water bottle when they fly through LAX, the general response to the LAWA announcement is a positive one.
The reduction of single-use plastic bottles is certainly a good choice for our environment, and because most travelers already fly with a reusable water bottle that can be refilled for free at one of the many promised stations within the airport, it seems that LAX’s plan won’t be facing significant backlash.