Since July, we’ve been hearing about how a San Francisco city agency is mulling the ban the sale of plastic water bottles at public events on city property.
This is not the first ban of its kind – San Francisco has already banned the sale of soda from vending machines on city property, and Concord, Massachusetts voted to ban the sale of bottled water throughout the town, though the vote was overturned and was not signed into law.
The San Francisco Environment Commission’s policy committee met yesterday to discuss the proposed ban and consequent installation of water stations in multiple locations at each public event where people could fill up reusable containers. As the plans stand now, it seems as though participants would be asked to bring their own water bottles to public events.
Events that would be affected by the ban include park and street festivals and events such as the San Francisco Pride Parade.
Miriam Gordon explained to the Commission last night that she successfully led a plastic-bottle-free event at the Jewish Community Center’s Maccabi Games last year. She says that there were absolutely no plastic bottles sold at the event, which hosted around 3,000 participants. Every single one of the athletes participating in the event received a free reusable water bottle and there were many water stations at the event for re-filling.
While some people think that remembering to bring your own water bottle is too much of a hassle, members of the Commission on the Environment believe that the plastic bottle waste is taking a toll on our San Francisco ecosystem.
Environment Commission spokesperson Ruth Gravanis seems convinced that the ban should move forward, saying that that no matter how many recycling containers we have in San Francisco, “so many of these plastic bottles end up in the waste steam” and “in the trash.” Manufacturing and delivering plastic water bottles also uses an inordinate amount of oil. Therefore, the Commission will draft a proposed ordinance to be presented before the San Francisco Board of Supervisors later this year.