San Francisco: First Major City Bans Plastic Water Bottle Sales on Public Property

Many empty water bottles. Shallow DOF.

After nearly a decade of grass-roots effort, earlier this year, San Francisco moved to restrict the sale of plastic water bottles on public property. This is the first law of it’s kind to be adopted by a major U.S. city and the latest in a string of waste-reduction measures that included a ban on plastic grocery bags. It is set to take effect in October 2014.

The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to enact this new law.

“There are incredible, enormous environmental costs of plastic water bottles,” said Supervisor David Chiu, who introduced the measure. “It takes 1,000 years for a typical plastic water bottle to biodegrade.”

“Where we have public spaces, either in buildings or in parks and other open space—these are places that we don’t want the sale or distribution of plastic water bottles,” said David Chiu, the city official who introduced the ordinance last year.

Plastic is a tremendous strain on the environment. More than 2.5 millions bottles are disposed of per hour in the united states and they do not biodegrade. According to the UN, “of the 300 million tons of plastic produced in the world each year about 6 million tons end up in the oceans. 80% of the waste is washed into the sea by rivers or carried out to the ocean from garbage dumps by the wind.” 17 million barrels of oil are used per year just to create plastic bottles while it takes 3 liters of fresh clean water to create one bottle. It makes no sense. It is destroying our oceans, wildlife and food chains.

You can read about a solution to help clean our oceans of plastic in our recent article, “19 Year Old Has Feasible Plan to Clean Our Oceans of Plastic

Think about it, every piece of plastic, no matter how large or small, ever made is still with us today and will be for more than 1,000 years if not forever.

In the video below, created by Center for a New American Dream, San Franciscans talk about how they got the new law passed and how it will be implemented.

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