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San Francisco Ban Plastic Water Bottles

6 months ago

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Photo: mychannel957.com

Photo: mychannel957.com

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.

RYOT NOTE from Anna

Hopefully, San Francisco’s move paves the way for other cities to do the same. The Plastic Pollution Coalition is a global alliance of individuals, organizations and businesses working together to stop plastic pollution and the toxic impact it has on humans, animals and the environment. Click on the Action Box above this story to learn more, support their work and Become the News!

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ban plastic bottles recycle san francisco single-use water water bottles
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68 comments
Rachael01215287
Rachael01215287

I am saying the same thing here in Jamaica, I have been calling Radio Stations sending emails and so forth'' I have been to  quite  a few places' Raised in London where It were very plain to the Government that there should be a place for every thing. For some years all rubbish used to be put in the Bin at the Gate where the Garbage Collectors came to empty them.. To cut a long story short' They created Bottle Banks on the Streets, A place for Bottles---Cans--Paper and Plastic. Recycling should also be done in all area on the Island , Less Rubbish' Clearing ways for water to pass through when we have Rain.

It is the responsibility of all people to keep their Street, Place, Country Clean: However' There must be LAWS ON HEALTH & SAFETY'' The Government must put a fine on those who litter. Plastics are not of any Importance bottles'' That's the way forward world wide. Healthy Mind Healthy Body, Long life. 

MarcFavell
MarcFavell

All this is going to do is increase the sizes and the price of a bottle or the smaller bottles will be made of glass or aluminum, just a guess

GuyJeremiah
GuyJeremiah

Plastic has a much much lower carbon footprint than steel or aluminium. And not all plastic is bad for your health. Plastics are all very different - look for the recycling number on the base. Category 1 PET (disposable bottles) can leach contaminants, such as Antimony, into the water. Category 7 Misc. (can, but not necessarily, contain BPAs). The safest is Category 4 LDPE e.g. the Ohyo Collapsabotttle. www.ohyo.me or Nalgene.

KarinYates
KarinYates

There needs to be a ban on ALL plastic bottles!  So now people will just buy soda in plastic bottles!  Much worse!   Perhaps people who buy bottled water do it because 1) there is not a glass with a tap around, and 2) there are pollutants such as chlorine and fluoride and drugs in tap water.  Be fair; all plastic drinking containers should be eliminated (and that might take a bite out of obesity as well)

greenbeaner
greenbeaner

I have tried many different brands of bottled water in those unsafe containers of plastic. Some tastes like kerosene and I can't drink it. When i go to my faucet when is from a drilled well in the country, it's better, and I believe it would be safer to drink if I boiled it. As farmers use pesticides..etc..we know it's in our country well water. Let's just say that when grandparents were alive and drinking water from their dug well, that they had to pump from outside, they had no problem, but there was also was not the pesticides and chemicals used in their day as now. We are poisoned to death from producing more..more and more. There is spring water available free is a park not far from my home, but if I let it sit for several days, it seems to taste really salty. If you drink it straight from the pipes at the park, it is the best ever! I believe SF has done a good thing and there has to be an end to these plastic bottles. Someone is getting very rich selling these cases of bottled water and it's almost a gimmick. Also look at how many items in the store are sold in plastic now instead of glass. The landfills are going to take over completely if we don't find a better way..and Germany was mentioned, plus another country. We can learn from each other you know. I know this is jumping subject a bit but while we are talking plastic..let's get rid of the diapers!!! Cloth diapers are fine and washable. I washed mine by hand if I had to. Some things need to go back to the old ways..and let's talk pollution from vehicles. We have poisoned our air also from keeping the roads hot just to be on the run. Going to work and coming home is a necessity, but car pooling is ok too. What happened to family time, to being a homemaker and having a meal ready for your hard working man instead of eating out every day or going through fast food windows? My father was the only breadwinner in our home and we had real food and not junk most of the time. He worked his large gardens and mother canned real food. We drank water from the faucet and guess what? They both lived to be over 80. If you want to read about what has happened to our water and our earth, get a copy of Rachel Carson's ''Silent Spring''....written in the 30's or 40's I believe. Amazon should have it. We have not taken care of our earth properly. 


nerdsamwich
nerdsamwich

Why don't we institute central recycling, like Germany or Sweden? Their garbage trucks take refuse not to a landfill, but to a recycling plant, where it's separated properly and efficiently recycled. No reliance on the lazy idiot at home to separate plastic from newspaper, they do it all right there. Sweden's system is so efficient that they have to import garbage to run their incinerators.

mcattckl7
mcattckl7

I wish they would do this in New Jersey, i used to buy Brita filters, now i boil my tap water because i'm tapped out from buying the filters.  Breaking my back as a store clerk in a bulk warehouse facility moving cases of this stuff(bottled water) over the retail belt at the register.  WHAT  a healthy workout calls for?

tmadden
tmadden

While you're on the subject, there's a new water coming to town called SNO.  It's a glacier water that comes both in plastic and bottles and it's not spring, but glacier water, therefore it contains zero nitrates.  Wait till you taste the purist water on the planet.  It just went on sale at Bristol Farms throughout California.  

DesireeGelinas
DesireeGelinas

I personally don't see why you're making an excuse to discredit the move that SF has decided to make. Honestly if everyone recycled, or if workers at the ladfills did their best to sort recyclables, this sort of action wouldn't need ot take place. There's nothing wrong with being "green" and everything has to start somewhere. I commend SF and hope to see many more US and Canadian cities to follow suit! 

DarylHackbart
DarylHackbart

San Francisco is already the greenest large city in the USA and simply wants to become greener. The ban is only water bottles on public property or during city-permitted events. The fact that only 13% of water bottles get recycled is likely a national average and the number that SF recycles is closer to 50-60%. In addition, San Francisco is the only city in the country whose tap water comes from a reservoir within a national park--the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir in Yosemite National Park. SF water is treated gently and is the among the cleanest tap water in the nation.

PamelaErman
PamelaErman

Anyplace that is equipped to sell fountain drinks, gas stations, fast food joints, snack bars, etc. already has filtered cold water available.  The idea of a reusable, refillable water battle is a good one.

Samantha Poole
Samantha Poole

But why is only water targeted? What about soft drink? More people buy the water these days because there are more people around to buy it and because people are trying to be healthier! Instead of banning water bottles, why not make them a little bit more expensive and offering a cash inventive to recycle them? You collect them and when you have a certain amount you can get money to bring them to a recycle point? I honestly think this is BS and if you are going to ban it only for water then what's the real agenda here?

sanumj
sanumj

This is a brilliant move by San Fran. The next step is to secure the alternative solution to keeping the population hydrated. 

GiveMeTap in London, UK are promoting tap water and abolishing the stigma attached to asking for it while out and about. They sell a stainless steel water bottle and have partnered with hundreds of cafes and restaurants who agree to give free tap water to anyone with the bottle (or sometimes everyone!). 

This is galvanising a behaviour change in consumers so that they reduce plastic waste and in shop keepers who see water as a loss-leader product!

Furthermore, for every GiveMeTap bottle purchased, they give one person in Africa access to clean water. It's a win-win situation and way of living that makes sense for the environment and society. You can find them at www.givemetap.co.uk.

Willy Lump Lump
Willy Lump Lump

 By comparing the amount of crude oil it takes to run 1 million vehicles on the road for 12 months to the amount of oil it takes to make all those "evil plastic bottles";  does that mean that the author would rather have 1 million vehicles polluting the air for 12 months? I really think people ought to be able to decide for themselves where they want to spend their own money. 

christorrisonmackay
christorrisonmackay

40% of bottled water is tap water sold at 2000 the price of tap. its crazy. also there are sacrifice zones around the pet bottle factories where cancer and birth defefts are rampant and way over national averages. Watch the movie TAPPED before you decide. I have been studying this issue for months.

sknyjohn
sknyjohn

Do the water filling stations filter toxins, including fluoride, out of the water? If not, then banning healthy water simply because it's bottled in plastic is an act of hypocrisy that does nothing to improve public health.

SamanthaGurley
SamanthaGurley

4 years is a long time. After the store is done selling their inventory of plastic bottles why just not allow them to buy more?

DianaZou
DianaZou

There should be an inspection of all public area where there is lack or no safe drinking fountain for people to fill up with. Until those water fountains are setup, those places should be exempted.

Rachael01215287
Rachael01215287

@GuyJeremiah  What ever the needs ' plastic bottles are all over the Island blocking up Gutters, Drains & every where, When they float to the sea The Fishes get damage....Some people burn them and you can smell it it's unhealthy.... They must be RECYCLED PENALTY FOR THOSE WHO THROUGH THEM ANY WHERE AND EVERY WHERE...


MimiPeizerMichalski
MimiPeizerMichalski

@KarinYates  I agree. They should bring back the old paradigm of using refillable glass bottles and giving back a nickel on every bottle returned. Even if the original buyer didn't bring them back, people looking to cash in on the nickels would do it. No more bottles as litter either.

GuyJeremiah
GuyJeremiah

@KarinYates  Plastics are all very different - look for the number on the base. Category 1 PET (disposable bottles) can leach contaminants, such as Antimony, into the water. Category 7 Misc. (can, but not necessarily, contain BPAs). The safest is Category 4 LDPE e.g. the Ohyo Collapsabotttle. www.ohyo.me

nerdsamwich
nerdsamwich

@mcattckl7 Were you aware that there are stricter regulations on the purity of tap water than on bottled, and most bottled water comes from a city water system anyway?

nerdsamwich
nerdsamwich

@Samantha Poole Bottled water doesn't have to be as pure as tap water, and most bottled water comes right out of a city faucet at the bottling plant.

AshleyAlagnaDuke
AshleyAlagnaDuke

@Samantha Poole the USA already taxes sodas and most states (including california) already offer cash incentives for recycling. The real agenda is that people need to drink WATER and not soda. offering free or cheep filtered water will encourage people to drink water instead of spend $2 on a soda.


Why does everything have to be an agenda? Just because they're trying to clean up the world doesn't mean that they're out to get us. There are alot more plausible conspiracy theories out there for you to latch on to

NigelWarner
NigelWarner

@sanumj So if I don't buy it they'll drink the clean water in front of the poor Africans while they laugh and make them drink dirty water?

buttehistory
buttehistory

@Willy Lump Lump Also, it should be noted that if the 17 million barrel figure is correct, that that is less than one single day of US oil consumption.

OMGKids
OMGKids

@Willy Lump Lump  The author is merely pointing out that not only are we depleting a resource that we are unfortunately addicted to everytime we make these plastic bottles, but we are also creating a product that will never go away.  Plastic bottles will be around for hundreds of years killing countless animals and contaminating our environment and our food.  You decide how you want to spend your money but when gas prices start to skyrocket and we are all complaining about a shortage of available fuel for our cars, think back on what your choice was back when you had the luxury of having a choice.

sknyjohn
sknyjohn

@christorrisonmackay Tap water is unsafe for human consumption. Spring water is an affordable solution to the toxicity of tap water, much more affordable than filters that can remove fluoride. Fluoridated water is a public health crisis. Tap water needs to be detoxified & de-fluoridated.  Banning healthy water simply because it's bottled in plastic without first de-toxifying & de-fluoridating tap water compounds an already serious public health crisis. De-toxify & de-fluoridate tap water & there'll be no need or reason to use plastic (or even glass, for that matter) in order to obtain potable water, making it safe & easy to reduce if not eliminate plastic consumption. Visit the site http://fluoridealert.org/ before you decide. I have been studying this issue for YEARS.


mlmc58
mlmc58

@sknyjohn Municipal water systems add flouride, as well as some bottle water manufacturers, which is why it is important to read the label on the water prior to consumption, if there even is one there. I understand the debate as to whether or not this addition in beneficial or not, and that is one's personal choice to not have any. It is not quite accurate to label bottled water as "healthy" water, as much of it is not as strictly regulated and monitored by the EPA/FDA as is tap water. Depending on the source of water, some companies STILL use chemical disinfectants to treat the water, which will still have some degree of contamination. Bottled water also has a much greater capacity to harbor post-production bacteria because it has a stagnant (non-flowing) shelf life and is absent of some disinfectants (i.e., trace amounts of Chlorine) that would further slow bacterial growth. As a Health Scientist, I promote the use of a filter do provide extra protection against contaminants and carry my own supply. I'm not as trusting of bottled water suppliers. While many consumers are a bit more informed on their decisions as they relate to their drinking water source, most do it having done NO research or for "taste," and completely overlook the environmental concerns that come along with the use of bottle water.

christorrisonmackay
christorrisonmackay

@sknyjohn Bottled water has tons of chemicals due to the PET plastic. Acrimony being the worst, a known endocrine disruptor. the bottled water industry has everyone fooled that it is safer than tap water, that is not true.


sanumj
sanumj

@DianaZou  Hey Diana, I think that a better alternative would be to abolish the stigma of asking for tap water in establishments in the first place. If people could stay hydrated on the go, as they know their local cafe would happily refill for them, then there would be no issue about safety of fountains. 
Sanum 

GiveMeTap.co.uk

KarinYates
KarinYates

@GuyJeremiah @KarinYates  In terms of recycling, most facilities only take #1 and #2.  Soda and water are in the same bottles.  It's not a matter of health, it's a matter of pollution anyway.  And I suspect most bottles don't get recycled regardless of the type.

NigelWarner
NigelWarner

@buttehistory @Willy Lump LumpAlso, there is no shortage of oil. They tell you that so you will pay more for it. If we were running out, the government would be hoarding it all for themselves and you would be walking to work.

NigelWarner
NigelWarner

@sknyjohn @christorrisonmackayI'll take a little fluoride over bacteria and parasites any day. You know it only poisons you if you drink a whole pile of it, right? The first thing it'll do will be chemically sterilize you. If it hasn't done that yet, you're probly safe to have another glass(or bottle, hahahaha)

nerdsamwich
nerdsamwich

@sknyjohn @GuyJeremiah@christorrisonmackay@nerdsamwich@DeniseTreesh You are merely repeating your unsupported assertions. Either provide links to supporting information, or shut up. There are very stringent safety regulations on tap water. Conversely, there are very few regulations on bottled water, to allow labels to say things like "straight from the spring". Problem is, many springs are full of things like lead, sulfur, arsenic, cadmium and other metals, not to mention bacteria and animal waste.

sknyjohn
sknyjohn

@GuyJeremiah @christorrisonmackay @sknyjohn @nerdsamwich @DeniseTreesh  Stop lying. Tap water is full of toxic chemicals & is therefore a public health crisis. Spring & mineral water are safe, healthy alternatives. Stop supporting toxic, polluted drinking water & clean up the environment by cleaning up the tap water, which will automatically reduce or eliminate plastic consumption.

GuyJeremiah
GuyJeremiah

@christorrisonmackay @sknyjohn @nerdsamwich @DeniseTreesh  I agree with Chris. Tap water is highly regulated, monitored and safe. Bottled water is largely unregulated and potentially contaminated with natural contaminants and about 1500 chemicals derived from the bottle itself.  Personally I think they are both safe, but why contribute to 150 billion wasted bottles? Enough to stretch round the world 1000 times every year.

sknyjohn
sknyjohn

@nerdsamwich @DeniseTreesh @sknyjohn @christorrisonmackay  Spring water & mineral water is far more healthy, far cleaner, & far safer to drink than tap water because the bottlers of spring water & mineral water hold spring water & mineral water to a far higher standard of purity than tap water is held to. 70% of tap water is fluoridated; NONE of spring & mineral water is. Tap water is inundated with chemicals & other impurities. Spring & mineral water is not. Tap water is unsafe for human consumption & is therefore a public health crisis. Spring & mineral water are safe & healthy alternatives to the toxic mess that tap water is. Purity standards of tap water need to be elevated/improved to at least the level of spring & mineral water BEFORE banning spring & mineral water simply because they are bottled, otherwise banning spring & mineral water is an act of irresponsible & dangerous hypocrisy that will compound, not remedy, an already serious public health crisis. If you tap water faddists actually were serious about cleaning up the environment you'd have demanded that tap water purity standards be raised/improved to the levels of spring & mineral water; in other words, tap water is polluted, & un-polluting tap water will eliminate the need for bottling spring & mineral water, which will result in reduced or eliminated plastic consumption. You tap water faddists need to actually clean up the environment, which means cleaning up the polluted tap water, which will clean up the plastic in the environment, instead of only banning plastic, which means banning spring & mineral water, thereby leaving public water still polluted & compounding an already serious public health crisis by prohibiting access to clean, healthy water like spring & mineral water.

nerdsamwich
nerdsamwich

@DeniseTreesh @sknyjohn@christorrisonmackayBy law, the purity standards on tap water are much stricter than those on bottled. Also, most bottled water comes straight out of city faucets and into the bottle. The United States has some of the cleanest tap water in the world--until the fracking runs its course.

San Francisco Ban Plastic Water Bottles

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