The world’s busiest airport will install 52 free water bottle filling stations this month.

The filling stations will be located throughout the concourses and terminals at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, which averages more than 250,000 passengers a day.

It’s a way to address two issues: security bans on liquids and the waste created by disposable plastic water bottles. Bottled water produces more than 1.5 million tons of plastic waste per year, according to Food and Water Watch.

The new filling stations will dispense tap water and will be installed at existing water fountain locations as part of a $7,350 retrofit that includes antimicrobial copper surfaces. Emory University researchers will regularly test the fountains for bacteria.

Hartsfield-Jackson isn’t the first airport to install such stations. Airports like San Francisco International Airport, Chicago O’Hare O'Hare International Airport and the Charlotte Douglas International Airport already have bottle-filling devices.

Although travelers could always fill bottles at water fountains or at bathroom sinks, Oasis International’s design is both easier to use and more sanitary. In addition to antimicrobial surfaces, the stations will also have a touchless design.

The Atlanta airport has pilot tested two water bottle filling stations at Concourses A and T for about a year now.

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Laura Moss writes about a variety of topics with a focus on animals, science, language and culture. But she mostly writes about cats.

Atlanta airport gets water bottle filling stations
Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport's 52 touchless filling stations will have antimicrobial surfaces and dispense tap water.