San Francisco Just Took a Huge Step Forward to Becoming a Zero-Waste City
On Tuesday, San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to ban the sale of plastic water bottles on public property. The legislation is a major win for environmentalists and consumers who want to reign in the bottled-water industry.
The bill took nine months of negotiation and adjustments, including dealing with bitter complaints from industry advocates as well as environmentalists who sought even tougher provisions. Over the next four years, 21 ounce-or-less water bottles will be phased out from services operating on all public property both indoor and outdoor, impacting vendors, street fairs and food trucks, with limited waivers available if the ban poses an insurmountable difficulty. Violators could be punished with a $1,000 fine.
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"…But it’s really not. There’s "very little empirical evidence" to say bottled water is any healthier than tap water, and about 70% never crosses state lines, making it exempt from FDA oversight. And it’s costly: 47 million gallons of oil per year are required to produce water bottles, and while they’re highly recyclable, more than 80% of them are simply tossed in the trash. Ultimately, it takes three times the amount of water to make a bottle than it does to fill it. That’s not a good value for anyone.”