San Francisco bans sale of plastic water bottles

Americans use 50 billion plastic water bottles every year and just 23 per cent of them are recycled

By DTE Staff
Published: Thursday 02 April 2015

Use of plastic water bottles leads to the generation of huge amount of waste

San Francisco became the first major city in the United States to ban the sale of plastic water bottles, news reports say.

The step is being seen as a global movement to reduce the huge amount of waste generated from the billion-dollar plastic industry.

Joshua Arce, chairperson of the Commission on the Environment, an advisory body, was quoted by Global Flare as saying the ban is “another step forward on our zero-waste goal”.

The city wants to have no waste going to its landfill by 2020, Arce said.

According to Ban The Bottle, a blog devoted to discouraging the use of plastic bottles, Americans use 50 billion plastic water bottles every year and just 23 per cent of them are recycled.

Its website says that though many people drink bottled water as they believe it to be cleaner and better tasting, it is not necessarily true.

In the United States, 24 per cent of bottled water sold is either Pepsi’s Aquafina (13 per cent of the market) or Coke’s Dasani (11 per cent of the market). Both brands are bottled, purified municipal water.

How will the ban work?

Over the next four years, the ban will phase out the sale of plastic water bottles of 21 ounces or less in public places. Waivers are permissible if an adequate alternative water source is not available. Violators would face fines of up to $1,000.

The Oskaloosa city council in Iowa recently passed a resolution that would allow the installation of drinking fountains in public parks and municipal buildings during new constructions or reconstruction, according to Ban The Bottle.

Reaction of the beverage industry

In reaction to the ban, The American Beverage Association (an organisation that represents the beverage industry), which includes Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo, said in a statement that the ban was “nothing more than a solution in search of a problem”.

In a recent article published on its website, the association says that the US market for liquid refreshment beverages grew in 2014 after being basically flat in 2013, according to the Beverage Marketing Corp (BMC), an industry market research company.

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