After a three year campaign led by 84 year-old resident Jean Hill, the city of Concord, Mass. has become the first in the nation to ban the sale of bottled water. The new law, approved by the state’s attorney general, which goes into effect on January 1, 2013 bans the sale of single-serving (non-flavored, non-sparkling) PET water bottles of one liter or less.
Hill set out on her mission in order to reduce the amount of plastic water bottles in landfills and to encourage residents to drink from reusable bottles instead.
Hill told The Boston Globe that she was relieved after three years of work. “I hope other towns will follow,’” she said. “I feel bottled water is a waste of money.” Not to mention, plastic water bottles drain resources while elevating energy consumption and plastic waste.
On the flip side, the bottled water industry is none too pleased with the decision and has vowed to fight back.
“We are exploring all available options,” the Virginia-based International Bottled Water Association said in a statement. “This ban deprives residents of the option to choose their choice of beverage and visitors, who come to this birthplace of American independence, a basic freedom gifted to them by the actions in this town more than 200 years ago,” the group added, noting Concord’s place in U.S. history. “It will also deprive the town of needed tax revenue and harm local businesses that rely on bottled water sales.”
In the meantime, other cities and universities have taken steps to ban the sale of bottled water.
According to nbcnews.com, San Francisco is considering an ordinance that would require owners of new and renovated buildings to install filling stations. Likewise, the city already has such stations at various parks, schools and its airport.