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No more single-use plastic water bottles sold at SFO

I just read in the Chronicle that effective 8/20 you will no longer be able to buy single use bottles of water at SFO--flavored water, yes; plain, no. You will need to bring a refillable aluminum or glass bottle. I am not inclined to bring one more thing, especially something heavy like glass, to keep track of, always bought a big bottle of water to keep myself hydrated on the flight so I guess I'll be hounding the flight attendants for water. It's likely to expand to other airports.

Posted by
8289 posts

christa, thank you very much for posting this. Very good to know. I did the same as you, always bought a large bottle after security for the flight as i don’t like the taste of tap water.

Posted by
847 posts

I have "single use" bottles that I "reuse" multiple times. Just got back from a five week trip with the same bottle I took with me (it's a great small size, got it on an Iceland air flight a few years ago). Just wash it out each night and fill with tap water. When I'm staying someplace with a fridge I stick it in the freezer overnight. Obviously I also bought bottled water throughout the trip but having the one bottle that is easy to carry was great. Just take it empty through security and then fill it before the flight.

Posted by
1258 posts

That's welcome news, of course. But as you indicate, it also needs the airlines to stop handing out (or selling) single-use plastic bottles too. Hopefully, that's the next step.

I guess you can pay for a drink from a vendor (like Burger King), once past security, then fill the cup with water from the fountain drink machine. Many fountain drink machines have a water feature. (Check it out before paying.). I realize a cup with a lid can't be thrown in a bag and is harder to haul around than a bottle with a screw lid.
Or, you may just have to get a wide-mouthed plastic "camping" bottle and fill it at a vendor as described above. (I know - one more thing to haul.)

Posted by
4250 posts

I typically reuse small plastic water/juice bottles until I lose them! There are plastic water bottles you can buy that look more like a heavier bag that collapses flat. It would take up very little room and weighs virtually nothing when empty.

Posted by
5784 posts

Good for San Fran. No more single use plastic.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/niallmccarthy/2018/03/16/study-finds-microplastics-in-93-percent-of-bottled-water-infographic/#d77f69873fa0

The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced that it is launching
a review of the potential risks of plastic particles in drinking
water, after a study found tiny pieces of plastic in more than 90% of
samples from the world's most popular bottled water brands.

Posted by
1179 posts

I always carry my Platypus collapsible water bottle. I fill it up once I’m past security. I add on a water bottle clip so I can clip it to things. The water bottle weighs 1.2 oz.

The Platypus brand is rugged. My bottles usually last around 3 years of caving, mountaineering, and hiking. A good value. I do not recommend the Vapur bottles you see on so many bloggers websites. The Vapur bottles leak when they are tipped on their sides.

SFO has nice water fountains with water bottle spigots so it is quite easy.

One nice thing about collapsible bottles is that they get smaller as you use them. They fit in most purses.

Posted by
4663 posts

I hope it doesn't extend to MCO, imagine having to fill your bottle up with Orlandoan water!

Posted by
154 posts

I like this, but I usually stop by a bar or something after security to fill my vacuum steel bottle (really keeps water cold longer than plastic or glass) with ice. Just my preference, particularly before a long flight. And a lot of airports are going with the filtered watered fountains, so the "tap water" taste may be mitigated.
According to TSA and my experience, you can bring ice in a water bottle through security as long as there's no liquid in the bottle.

Posted by
787 posts

I'm fine with airports cutting down on single use plastic bottles. We always bring our own Copco water bottles and fill them once past security as well as during our trip. Ours have caps that are attached and unscrew in the middle to add ice and to make them easier to machine wash once we're home again. I just hope all the airports add bottle filler water stations.

Posted by
3789 posts

Good start. I have a variety of bottles depending on space available. Platypus, Nalgene or many times reused single use plastic bottles. Never glass and rarely metal.

Posted by
1143 posts

Thank you so much for posting this Christa.
I have always purchased a bottle of water for the flight after security (and then reused it many times while in Europe.) I still have the small plastic bottle of "Wayne's Water" that I bought in the Oslo or maybe Stockholm airport. (I think I paid the equivalent of about $7 for the 6oz bottle!)
I have a glass bottle for my car but it's too heavy for travel.
I'll need to plan ahead and maybe get one of the collapsible bottles for my flight in September.

Posted by
443 posts

I love the idea, but hope that SFO also has water bottle filling stations like LHR and other airports do so for those of us that do bring a refillable bottle (of any kind), can easily do so.

Posted by
7597 posts

For one thing, I am far too cheap to pay inflated airport prices for bottled water, I always bring my own bottle and fill it at a water fountain. As others have mentioned, many airports have specific bottle filler fountains.

Posted by
5697 posts

Time to go to REI for a Platypus! I may toss a few empty 4 oz. plastic bottles in my bag as well.

Time for a Public Health Message from your posting dentist.

Some bottled waters are highly acidic. Dasani is one of the worst for acidity. So, a steady flow of Dasani can damage your teeth over time. It's best to find water with a more neutral or alkaline PH. In the USA, that's difficult info. to find. In Europe, some companies are printing the PH level on their bottles.

Some better choices include: Fiji, arrowhead, zephyrhills, crystal geyser alpine, Evian, vital, Poland Spring, Ice Age, and Smart Water.
Tap water can vary depending on region. City water is closer to neutral and contains my favorite natural additive - Fluoride! (Not all communities Fluoridate their water supply.)
I do think hydration is a good thing. Yet, I agree with the above poster that some people get overly concerned about hydration issues. If you feel thirsty - drink! But, most individuals (if not all) can survive a few hours without a beverage.

Posted by
443 posts

Emma - I make a conscious effort to drink 64 oz of water/day, so yes, I always bring water with me, including to meetings. I use a $9 POGO bottle I get from Target (I don't like cold water (usually) so insulation isn't a priority).

Posted by
1217 posts

I actually prefer to let myself get slightly dehydrated on a flight day because airplane toilets aren't fun, and I've had flights where the seatbelt sign was legitimately on for 4+ hours at a stretch (FAs ordered to jump seats level of 'rough air') and everyone was expected to hold it.

I do have a nice collection of Naglene bottles- they're sold at many a US national park souvenir shop because the parks don't allow bottled water sales inside the boundaries and it's a more useful souvenir for us than another t-shirt. Usually throw a couple of empty ones in my checked bag when it's a trip with lots of planned nature walking or hiking.

Posted by
1258 posts

Just to reassure the grumpy section here, "back in the day" people may not have brought a bottle of water to a 30 minute meeting, but most certainly brought a cup of tea. I'm not sure why that is so different. Certainly not different enough to excite such grouchiness.

Posted by
4250 posts

I find when I travel that I'm outside and walking quite a bit making hydration important. I've also noted that inside buildings there seem to be fewer drinking fountains/bubblers than what I'm used to in the U.S. I like having a small bottle of water than I can fill when I see something. Also when I vacation I tend to drink more wine or have a cocktail or two making drinking water all the more important. There are so many behaviors that are different than my own, that I really try not to get excited about stuff that has no impact on me.

Posted by
4663 posts

I find that a bottle of wine during an evening sufficiently hydrates me.

Posted by
1179 posts

Is it really necessary to have constant access to a drink.

That is a straw man fallacy. Cite an extreme case that no one claimed and then beat it down.

It isn’t about constant access so much as having it when you need it - for whatever reason (meds, medical condition, staying hydrated).

For flying, I’m going to be in at least two 6 hour flights or one 11 hour one. So yes, I’ll bring some water.

How does this affect you if others carry a water bottle?

Posted by
2560 posts

Ah yes, California, still managing the worlds problems, now one bottle at a time. We pay double for gasoline, and our air is still filthy. We banned plastic shopping bags, except in certain stores and you can buy them in all the others (who gets rich from that?) Now, we will have a major airport that does not sell bottled water. I can see the vendors lining up to sell overpriced bottles to those foolish enough to not have one. And pity those hoards of overseas visitors whose first introduction to the US will be the inability to buy a bottle of water, after a long flight and passport control. (Hope the vendors are multilingual!) You can say plastic bottles are a problem but is this piecemeal approach the solution? We were in Sicily this summer where people buy cases of bottles water as the tap water is poor to non-potable. What should they do? I’m sure the California legislators could figure it out, lets send them over!

Posted by
5784 posts

I find that a bottle of wine during an evening sufficiently hydrates me.

I believe that the prevailing scientific wisdom is that alcohol is a diuretic. Increasing blood alcohol levels trigger a release of a hormone that causes kidneys to the release of water from our body. The water content of 12% +/- alcohol wine may not offset the dehydrating effect of the wine.

Beer typically has a lower alcohol content. That said, there is a joke about a inebriated beer drinker in a pub poring his pint of beer in the urinal. When asked about what he is doing, the drunk replied that he is just bypassing the middleman.

Edgar,
I'm impressed by your science explanation. Your explanation is technically not correct - but, your conclusion is correct.
Aldosterone is a hormone that helps the body to reabsorb water. Alcohol prevents the release of aldosterone. This means less water gets absorbed by the body. This brings on dehydration from alcohol. Also, alcohol initially is a sedative. But, later as the body needs a bathroom break and becomes dehydrated - alcohol actually interferes with sleep.
So, it's good to drink water and herbal tea after consuming alcohol. Alcohol can be fun; but, is not good to drink while flying for physical reasons.
Sorry to "geek out" on you Edgar. I just liked your reply.

Emma,
I got your joke! Thanks for trying to keep this thread light-hearted. I appreciate the humor. My apologies for "going scientific."

Posted by
5784 posts

Shanghai Pudong International Airport's terminal does one better than SFO's water stations. Pudong water stations dispense both cold and hot water. If you have your stainless steel thermal flask you can brew tea while waiting for your flight.

Chinese brew tea lighter than the English and will even discard the "first washing" of the tea leaves. Chinese green tea would be less diuretic (less caffeine) than British black tea. So in Pudong International, brew some green tea using the free hot water dispensers.

Posted by
6871 posts

You will need to bring a refillable aluminum or glass bottle.

Try stainless steel instead, like Zojirushi (Japanese company that makes amazing rice cookers and small thermoses). A small thermos (16 oz). keeps liquids hot and cold for long periods and is super light and easy to clean. I stopped collecting crappy leaky (often free and branded) containers and I just stick with this one for just about every occasion, including travel. It's probably one of the best things I've ever bought.

SFO is on the right track. Single-use plastic takes too long to decompose and is wasteful.

Posted by
13490 posts

The other advert was for bags you could add to your water bottle to
add fruit flavours.

Emma, those small pouches of flavoring have been around for awhile. They have been most useful on our hiking trips in the American Southwest; a hot, very arid climate where you really DO need to stay properly hydrated or risk becoming seriously ill or worse. I got to the dizzy/nausea/headache warning stage of serious dehydration just once and never let it happen again; it's NO fun.

Anyway, our multiple bottles, even when starting off frozen, heat up pretty quickly on long treks, and warm water tastes pretty nasty so flavoring makes it more palatable.

Posted by
8110 posts

I am with Emma. I simply do not get this need to suck on a bottle of water, constantly, all day long. Also, when did the word thirsty leave our vocabulary only to be replaced with hydrate? Yes, I probably drink 2 liters of water a day, but in the morning and in the evening. If it is hot, maybe more. Most days, I drink nothing between 8-14:00 or so. It isn't needed unless you have some sort of medical condition or it is 38°.

Posted by
1179 posts

I am with Emma. I simply do not get this need to suck on a bottle of water, constantly, all day long. (Snip...) Most days, I drink nothing between 8-14:00 or so. It isn't needed unless you have some sort of medical condition or it is 38°.

You don’t have to “get” it. Some people need more water than others. Just like some people need more food than others or some people need more sleep than others. Different bodies have different needs. The numbers touted by doctors are averages. There’s a lot of deviation from those averages. The human body is amazingly diverse.

Posted by
101 posts

This topic doesn't really seem worthy of arguing. Those of us who want to carry a water bottle and drink as much as we want from it throughout the day should do so. Those who don't want to don't have to. No need to be critical of anyone else's habits on this.

Posted by
5697 posts

Hmm ... does no one else remember when Coke came in glass bottles ? (Spoiler alert -- milk did too.)

Posted by
1179 posts

It's interesting that expressing a different opinion is now seen as arguing or being critical...... Did I miss the contract that said we all have to agree on everything?

You ridiculed others choices that didn’t affect you. There’s the difference!

it's the carrying bottles of water around like a comfort blanket I don't get.

And

Can't people go that long without a drink?

And

every other person attending had their reusable water bottle proudly placed in front of them,

Posted by
4462 posts

Christa, yes the flight attendants will probably be busier now. Unless there’s turbulence, I do like to walk to the back of the plane every few hours and have a glass of water or ginger ale.

Emma, I’ve been in a few of those meetings, too, where it’s necessary to start analyzing anything to pass the time! ; )

Posted by
1277 posts

I've been carrying a refillable coffee cup on each trip for awhile now, its empty when I go thru security, and occasionally I'm using it just for tap water (for a quick airport picnic with my combos), but my first goal is to generate less trash. Secondly, it's nice to be able to carry a cup away from the breakfast table. I also usually pack a collapsible water bottle that I can carry in my purse

Posted by
1290 posts

We have always taken our own bottles when we travel, mostly because I am cheap. Free water and ice at most food places in the airport, why pay $4.00-$6.00. I also brew my own caffeinated jasmine green tea (ask for a free hot cup of water), pour it over ice and have a nice cold caffeinated beverage for the flight. We also each down an emergen-C about an hour before the flight, which requires water, does it help? Who knows...but we don't get sick.

I take my hydroflask and a sweater into most work meetings, sometimes a cup of coffee, hopefully the constant need to maintain my comfort is not offending anyone. I have never even noticed if others have a beverage, because I don't care.

Posted by
1179 posts

Anyone know if there is a collapsible hot/cold container with a leak proof lid?

Does such a unicorn exist?

Oh, and light weight too, since I’m on the mythical creature theme.

Posted by
13490 posts
Posted by
1889 posts

For those actually interested in the recycling pros and cons rather than just trolling all things Californian, the Sierra Club magazine had a recent article that touches upon the issue of whether the overall effort involved in recycling certain items, like plastic bottles, is more costly (broadly considered) than putting them in a landfill.
https://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/2019-4-july-august/feature/us-recycling-system-garbage
The main thing to keep in mind is that the mantra "Reduce, Re-use, Recycle" is ordered that way on purpose: recycling is Plan C, after first reducing and re-using.
My packing strategy is to keep re-using any bottle until I can't (or no longer want to.) I have an interesting plastic bottle that had fruit-flavored water in it from a stop in a market in March which I've been refilling from drinking fountains and sinks ever since. A little rinsing and it's still good to go.

Avirosemail,
I liked what you wrote. Environmentalism is complex. Recycling means reprocessing. It slows down the rate landfills fill-up. The Con side is how much pollution is created to reprocess items. Well put - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Thanks.

Posted by
4462 posts

These cups aren’t intended for carrying water while touring, but I love them for using in a hotel room for water or even coffee (carefully hold the edges when hot!). I bought them for camping, but I like them so much that I always have one in my purse and toiletries bag. No need to use the plastic cups in a hotel room. They collapse flat with a covering lid.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07545HPT2/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Posted by
4250 posts

avirosemail, I so agree with your comment. I usually reuse water bottles or whatever bottle I come upon till I lose it or it is no longer functional. Recycling while generally better than nothing is not the be all end all.

Posted by
2560 posts

Avirosmail has pointed out the problem with recycling. While reduce, reuse is a valid individual approach that is not what California does. On a very local basis they throw spaghetti on the wall and see what sticks and legislate or pass rules with little analysis of impact or negative outcomes. So this well meaning ban on single use bottles at SFO. On a much larger basis we need to deal with these problems. As an example look at Freon. Recognized the issue, legislated it’s phase out on a national basis, executed the plan and it’s on track. The industry was incentivized to come up with safer substitutes and they did. Compare that with SFO banning bottles-what will that really do except make some folks feel good because they are doing “something” even if there is no evidence that will be at all impactful?