Single Use Plastics To Be Banned At Atlanta International Airport

Atlanta International Airport is all set to ban (or rather not provide) single-use plastics, following in the footsteps of San Fransisco and Dubai.

Atlanta Airport is one of the world’s biggest. Photo: formulanone via Flickr

What are the details?

Recently, the Atlanta City Council passed new legislation that forbids the city from using single-use plastic throughout its services or businesses. As the airport is run in part with the city council, this now means that Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is plastic-free.

Essentially, this means that passengers traveling to and from the airport (and through it) will not be able to buy single-use plastics such as plastic bags, polystyrene, and plastic straws. This likely does not mean anyone will be dressed down for having single-use plastic on their person, but only that you won’t be able to get it in Atlanta.


Councilmember Amir Farokhi stated to Airport Technology,


“This bill is as much about us catching up to consumer expectations as it is about leading. I’m proud of this bill and today’s vote, but there is more to do before we can stake a claim to being ahead of the curve on sustainability. I think there is a shared understanding of this fact. So, I hope that this bill is a first step and not the last word. Sustainability and climate change are defining challenges of our time. Inaction is unacceptable.”

Some airlines, like Hi Fly, operate their aircraft plastic-free. Photo: Simple Flying

Who opposed the bill?

However, not everyone is happy with this idea.


According to WSB-TV, concerns have been raised as to what exactly will replace plastic single-use items. It will cost companies more to find and source non-plastic alternatives to their current petrochemical items.

Paper ones disintegrate. I think we’ve tried bamboo ones. They also don’t do a very good job,” One passenger interviewed said. “You end up eating some paper, so I’m not sure what they would provide as an alternative. ​​​​​​I’m curious about how people will eat at the airport if there is no silverware. Obviously, there’s a way around straws, but everyone is hungry at the airport when they land,”

bottled water
Fellow US airport San Francisco Airport has installed close to 100 water bottle filling stations. Photo: Pixabay

The ban will not go into effect until December 2020, almost a year away. The bill is also yet to be signed into law by the Atlanta Mayor.

This move by the airport is just yet another domino in the environment-cause cascade by the aviation industry to become more environmentally conscious and reduce their impact on the world. Atlanta’ Hartsfield-Jackson Airport will be joining fellow airports that have banned single-use plastic such as San Fransisco, Dubai, and New Delhi, who have all banned these items in the last year.

What do you think about this news? Will this help make the environment a better place? Let us know in the comments.


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It’s so nice that we’re doing all this virtue signaling. It won’t make the slightest difference. I just came back from Vietnam where they just throw all their garbage including plastics outside. It was difficult to find a garbage can. In the meantime it’s getting to the point where I can’t get a plastic straws or water bottle. The US for the most part is not the problem outside of the progressive cities that are home to their “urban campers” who defecate on the streets and throw their garbage out everywhere. If anyone wants to do something serious, they could… Read more »


It’s not one or the other. Of course other countries should improve. But why does that mean we shouldn’t improve? You have flawed logic. Clean your own act up, and then help others to do so. Don’t just sit and do nothing whilst pointing the finger.

justin h

we should be leading by example. raise taxes on single use plastics. once the cost gets too much people will adapt and find alternatives. I remember Thailand 12 years ago was the same as Vietnam, I was in Burma last year and they just walk to the river and dump into the water. Thailand now is far cleaner than 12 years ago. Most places are even working towards no plastic bags. This is from a country that it at one point was said if you bought a new vehicle they would find a bag for it.


Without wishing to sound anti-American (which I’m not), I do think that Americans in general could do a lot better when it comes to the mantra “Reduce, Re-use, Recycle”. Several US hotel lobbies/airports now have trash segregation — but the average user doesn’t look, doesn’t care and doesn’t try. In the country where I live, plastic is collected separately, and is recycled. That having been said, streets and other public spaces in the US are generally pretty clean — there generally isn’t as much trash lying around as in other countries. So why there’s a sudden panic as regards plastics… Read more »


This is all well and good, but shouldn’t they be banning the burning of kerosene?


Then you have only static displays.

Brian Mehalic

“Everyone is hungry at the airport when they land?” Uh yeah, I get out of the airport as soon as I can after landing.