San Francisco is going BYOB. Bottled water, that is.
San Francisco has already banned the sale of soda from vending machines on city property, and is now considering a ban on bottled water too! The city is proposing a restriction on selling bottled water at all events on city property, including festivals, park events, street festivals, etc. as part of the city’s zero-waste campaign. This proposal would also affect concerts or parades with city “use agreements” where alcohol consumption is widespread.
City officials have been discussing selling (or, hopefully, giving away) reusable water bottles and providing water fountains/tanks to refill them as a viable alternative. While giving away swanky new Sigg bottles are probably out of the city’s budget, according to the Pacific Institute, producing bottles of water for American consumption required the equivalent of more than 17 million barrels of oil, not including the energy for transportation in 2006.
San Francisco isn’t alone on the anti-water bottle campaign streak. Concord, Massachusetts recently voted to ban the sale of bottled water in the entire town. That decision was overturned by the state’s Attorney General, who commented that the ban “does not constitute a valid bylaw subject to the attorney general’s review and approval.”
While many applaud the city’s environmentally progressive stand, the ban’s not getting universal acclaim — SF Weekly calls it “heavy handed,” and Tom Lauria, spokesman for the International Bottled Water Association, tells the Examiner that the proposal would “compromise people’s health in public situations when they’re thirsty.”
Do you think this ban is taking things too far? We’d like to hear your opinion.