If all goes as planned, travelers at London's Heathrow Airport will soon get to keep liquids and laptops in carry-on bags while passing through security checkpoints.
The airport announced that it can make that change thanks to new 3D scanners equipped with high-tech CT technology to provide a clearer-than-ever picture of what, exactly, you've got in your hand luggage—no removal of makeup-packed Ziploc bag required.
The equipment, which has begun appearing at airports across Europe and the United States, is similar to what hospitals use to peer into patients' innards. Let's be grateful that the airports aren't taking cues from the proctology department.
Heathrow expects that doing away with the requirement to remove liquids and laptops will make getting through security a speedier, more convenient experience for the millions of passengers who travel to and from the airport each year. And maybe those travelers will rely on fewer single-use plastics as well.
The liquid allowance in carry-ons will remain 100mL (3.4 oz.) per container—an international regulation—but at least you won't have to stuff all your little bottles into a baggie. Not in London, anyway.
But not immediately—Heathrow won't finish rolling out the new technology to every terminal until 2022.
In the meantime, travelers worried about disposable plastics should consider buying a reusable, removable clear bag like the one from Flight 001 that's pictured at the top of this post.