Multiple campaigns and products have been launched to curb our obsession with plastic water bottles. There are reusable water bottles in all shapes and sizes, made out of everything from glass to stainless steel. There are home filtration system that make your water taste better than anything in a bottle. Still, there’s no better way to keep this toxic waste from clogging up our streets and landfills than making them impossible to buy.
On January 1st, Concord, Mass., became the first town in America to ban the sale of single-serving PET water bottles of one liter or less. For this town’s 18,000 residents, selling a beverage in a plastic bottle will earn a warning, followed by $25 for second offense and $50 for any beyond that.
Created under the guise of convenience and better health, the plastic water bottle has become the poster child for wastefulness and environmental destruction. Despite the sheer futility of paying good money for tap water in a single serving bottle, Americans practically beg beverage companies to continue this highway robbery. In 2011, total bottled water sales in the U.S. hit 9.1 billion gallons — 29.2 gallons of bottled water per person, according to sales figures from Beverage Marketing Corp.
84-year-old Concord resident Jean Hill was so bothered by this mindless consumption that she decided to take action. For three long years, Hill campaigned among her friends and neighbors. The state’s attorney general initially shot down the proposed ban, but on Wednesday signed off after it was revised last year and it was approved last April by town residents in a 403-364 vote.
Bottled beverage companies are already threatening a lawsuit, waxing quite poetic about this so-called “restriction of freedom”.
“We are exploring all available options,” the Virginia-based International Bottled Water Association said in a statement. ”This ban deprives residents of the option to choose their choice of beverage and visitors, who come to this birthplace of American independence, a basic freedom gifted to them by the actions in this town more than 200 years ago,” the group added, noting Concord’s place in U.S. history. “It will also deprive the town of needed tax revenue and harm local businesses that rely on bottled water sales.”
What do you think? Would you support a bottled water ban in your town? Tell us in the comments!