News Feature | January 7, 2014

San Francisco To Ban Bottled Water?

By Sara Jerome
@sarmje

bottledwater

San Francisco may become the first large city to place major restrictions on the sale of plastic water bottles. 

Under a proposal from city supervisor David Chiu, the City by the Bay would ban the sale of plastic water bottles at any events on public land with more than 100 people, and prevent the city from spending any public money on bottled water," TIME reported

Under this proposal, the restrictions would affect a growing number of events as the years pass. 

"It would initially apply only to events that have access to adequate on-site water, but by late 2016 would apply to all events on San Francisco property besides foot races and other sporting events," CSPnet reported

The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) is lobbying hard against the ban. 

"Efforts to eliminate or reduce access to  bottled water will force consumers  to choose less healthy drink options that have more packaging, more additives (e.g., sugar, caffeine), and greater environmental impacts than bottled water," the group said in a press release

The group said that when bottled water is not available, 63 percent of people choose soda or another sugary drink, rather than opting for tap water. 

A Forbes columnist included the proposal in a list of the five most ridiculous bans of 2014. 

"Wait, I thought water was healthy and good for you? I guess the water is good, but the bottles aren’t?" the columnist, an executive at an e-commerce company, wrote. 

The town of Concord, MA, was the first municipality in the country to ban the sale of single-serving water bottles smaller than 1 liter. The rule went into effect at the start of this year, TIME reported

"Locals who pushed for the idea say the ban will reduce waste and help cut fossil fuel use in bottle production," the article said. 

Water Online previously reported that banning bottled water is a trend at colleges, as well. The University of Vermont students recently approved a ban, and a majority of voters at Harvard College said last year that they want to see bottled water sales banned from campus. 

Image credit: “Bottled Water Macros December 02, 20107," © 2012 stevendepolo, used under an Attribution 2.0 Generic license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

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