In a bold move towards sustainability, Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) has declared a ban on the sale of single-use plastic water bottles at both Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and Van Nuys Airport (VNY).
This initiative is a part of LAWA’s ambitious sustainability plan, aiming to drastically reduce plastic waste at its facilities and set a path towards achieving zero waste.
Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass expressed her support for the initiative, stating, “The climate crisis is one of the most pressing challenges our city faces. Eliminating single-use plastic water bottles at LAWA facilities is a pivotal step in reducing our environmental impact. I commend LAWA for leading the way among global airports in our shared mission for a sustainable future.”
The decision to phase out single-use plastic water bottles was unanimously approved by the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners (BOAC) in June 2021, as a part of L.A.’s Green New Deal. The policy provided a two-year window, ending on June 30, 2023, for airport businesses to deplete their existing stock of plastic water bottles and amend purchasing contracts in favor of eco-friendly alternatives.
The new regulations mandate LAWA and businesses operating at LAX and VNY to replace single-use plastic water bottles with sustainable alternatives like recyclable aluminum or glass containers. This policy encompasses restaurants, lounges, vending machine providers, and even airport events. However, bottled water served onboard aircraft remains exempt.
To facilitate this transition and cater to the hydration needs of passengers, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power collaborated with LAWA to set up additional hydration stations across LAX terminals. These stations, maintained by the LAWA Facilities Management Division, undergo regular inspections and maintenance.
Justin Erbacci, Chief Executive Officer of LAWA, urged passengers to support this initiative. “We invite our guests to join us in our mission to eradicate plastic waste. By carrying a reusable water bottle and utilizing our hydration stations, passengers can play a crucial role in enhancing sustainability across our airports.”
This initiative is just a fragment of LAWA’s comprehensive Sustainability Action Plan. By 2045, the plan envisions both LAX and Van Nuys Airport achieving net zero in areas like potable water consumption for non-potable purposes and carbon emissions from LAWA operations. Moreover, LAWA is steadfast in its commitment to transition to 100% renewable electricity by the same year.