San Francisco just banned the sale of single-use water bottles on public property and at city-permitted events, making it the first major U.S. city to do so.
The ban will phase out all bottles that are 21 ounces or less within the next four years. The move will impact city buildings, parks and festivals, as well as park vendors, food truck operators, and street fairs.
There will be exceptions for some sports outings, and when no other adequate water source is available.
“It was not long ago that our world wasn’t addicted to plastic water bottles,” Board of Supervisors President David Chiu said. “It wasn’t until the 1990s that the now $60 billion plastic bottle water industry experienced an enormous growth based on massive marketing and distribution campaigns.”
The U.S. consumes more bottled water than any other nation, purchasing an impressive 29 billion of them every year. It takes 17 million barrels of crude oil to make all those bottles. That’s equivalent to the fuel needed to keep 1 million vehicles on the road for 12 months!
And out of those 29 billion water bottles, only 13 percent end up being recycled. In landfills, it takes a plastic bottles centuries to biodegrade and if they are incinerated, toxic byproducts are released into the atmosphere.
I don’t know about you, but I’m lovin’ SF’s new BYOWB (bring your own water bottle) policy.