Americans consume as many as 50 billion (!) small water bottles every year, a product the bottled water industry says is crucial for modern life, as it encourages people to drink more water and live healthier lives. A good portion of these non-biodegradable bottles wind up in a landfill for hundreds of years, so in the long run it’s not exactly healthier for anyone, at least not those of us who know how to use a tap.
On January 1, Concord, Massachusetts became the first town to ban the sale of plastic water bottles smaller than one liter. This finally came into effect after a three-year campaign to reduce waste around the city and encourage the use of tap water.
First-time offenders will get a warning, but anyone selling the banned bottles a second time will be fined $25, and $50 the third offense and beyond.
So far there are no restrictions on other bottled drinks in Concord, and there is an exemption put in place for emergencies.
“In order to help people change, you need to put policies in place that steer them away from buying bottled water and toward considering the many other good alternatives,” said Jean Hill, the campaign leader for Concord’s bottled water ban.
Of course there are naysayers, such as those who say this is pointless since they can go one town over and buy a bottle of water. I don’t have any words for anyone who drives to the next town to get a bottle of water rather than simply filling a cup or reusable bottle from their kitchen tap.
Would you like to see a bottled water ban in your city? Do you think this is going to become the next trend spreading through cities, once plastic bags take the first hit?
Image CC licensed by Jon Gibbins: Plastic water bottles