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LAX banned a common travel item that's forbidden in only one other major airport: 'The right thing to do'

This ban is pretty significant.

LAX banned single-use plastic bottles

Photo Credit: iStock

If your airport routine features grabbing a bottle of water after passing through the TSA checkpoint, you may have to think again. Los Angeles International Airport has banned the sale of single-use plastic bottles in its facility, per a Facebook post

The ban has followed a 2021 plan to gradually phase out the sale of water bottles in LAX and the Van Nuys Airport. It's part of a larger, zero-waste initiative under Los Angeles World Airports' Sustainability Action Plan.

The LAWA Board of Commissioners plans to make its airports entirely zero-waste by 2045. Besides banning plastic bottles, LAWA also intends to have net-zero emissions from its operations, develop a fully renewable electric profile, and minimize gray water. 

"Eliminating single-use plastic water bottles is the right thing to do for our airports, our communities, and our environment," said Justin Erbacci, CEO of LAWA, per television station KTLA

The ban makes LAX the second airport to ban single-use plastic water bottles. In 2019, San Francisco International Airport (SFO) banned single-use plastic water bottles and included other types of beverages as of 2021. 

This ban is significant, especially considering the number of people flying through LAX daily. Over 32 million people flew through LAX in 2022, meaning that cutting out water bottles could have a sizable impact on the amount of trash the airport generates. This can decrease the number of single-use plastic bottles ending up in landfills, waterways, and the surrounding environment. 

The plastic water bottle ban at LAX currently includes vending machines and events at the airport. It does not include plastic water bottles served aboard aircraft or other single-use cartons, recyclable aluminum, or glass bottles. 

"Moving away from single-use plastic water bottles and toward reusables reduces plastic waste and pollution to help passengers reduce their environmental impact while traveling," LAWA officials said in a policy document.

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