Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) has banned the sale of single-use plastic water bottles at both Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and Van Nuys Airport (VNY).
This initiative, part of LAWA’s ambitious sustainability plan, aims to drastically reduce plastic waste at its facilities and achieve zero waste. Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass expressed her support for the initiative, highlighting its importance in reducing the city’s environmental impact.
The ban, unanimously approved by the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners (BOAC) in June 2021, took effect on June 30, 2023. Airport businesses had two years to deplete their existing stock of plastic water bottles and transition to sustainable alternatives like recyclable aluminum or glass containers. The policy applies to all businesses operating at LAX and VNY, including restaurants, lounges, vending machine providers, and even airport events. 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.
Travelers can support this initiative by carrying their own stainless steel water bottles and refilling them at the hydration stations throughout LAX and VNY.
LAWA Chief Executive Officer Justin Erbacci urged passengers to support the initiative, highlighting their crucial role in enhancing sustainability across the airports.
This initiative is just a fragment of LAWA’s comprehensive Sustainability Action Plan, which envisions both LAX and Van Nuys Airport achieving net zero in potable water consumption for non-potable purposes and carbon emissions from LAWA operations by 2045. LAWA is also committed to transitioning to 100% renewable electricity by the same year.