Like many people I assumed that when the rule was announced that water bottles were forbidden to go through airport security, that was literally what it meant. Water bottles, both the liquid and the plastic container, were forbidden to go through airport security.
This is only partially true and has resulted in millions, maybe hundreds of millions, of water bottles being unnecessarily being discarded since the rule was announced. Only the liquid or water is forbidden to go through airport security. The plastic container can go through airport security with no problem. Furthermore, the water bottle can be reused at the fountains around the airport.
Although each incidence seems trivial, for a country that is facing a number of concerns, understanding the water bottle rule is very important. Every day, millions of people travel on airplanes. Some percentage of these travelers are either discarding the plastic containers at the airport, or buying additional water bottles at the airport, because they misunderstood the rule and did not bring a drink to the airport.
All of these discarded water bottles even if they are reused later cost our environment a significant amount of money and energy to transport and recycle. Many countries, including the United States, are net importers of energy. All those water bottles add up to a lot of energy that is being wasted.
Second, many travelers are purchasing sugary drinks at the airport because they did not bring healthier drinks from home. At the airport, the lowest cost drinks are often water or sugary soda drinks, not healthy drinks. Even water, including all the taxes, has a very high price point. It is not unusual for 20 ounces of water to cost $4.00. Sugary drinks often have an equally high price point, and to give the traveler the perception of value, $4.50 may buy 24 ounces of cola. However, 24 ounces of cola has 300 calories, not mention, a significant amount of sugar. This is 15% of a healthy diet of 2,000 calories.
Understanding the water bottle rule will help many people bring a bottle from home. It easily goes through security. I have never had a problem since I discovered the rule. Second, having brought the water bottle with you through security, you are very likely going to fill it at the water fountain instead of paying for a sugary drink. Human behavior is to reinforce past actions. This is important because water has 0 calories, 0% versus 20% of your daily calorie budget. In addition, you will save $8 or more on a round trip, and do your part to help our country’s energy problem.
Only 23% of 38 million water bottles are recycled in the United States. Please pass along the tip. http://bit.ly/951r4u Thank you.