San Francisco banned plastic bags in 2007. Next on the ban list: Plastic water bottles. (Bob B. Brown/Flickr)
By Thomas K. Pendergast
(Originally published March 5, 2014, on SFBay, a news website for the San Francisco Bay Area.)
CITY HALL — San Francisco moved closer to banning plastic water bottles on City property after an broadly-supported ordinance unanimously passed its first reading at the Board of Supervisors Tuesday.
Should it pass the second reading — often a formality — San Francisco will phase out plastic water bottles on public property, a historic first.
The ordinance would amend the Environment Code to restrict the sale or distribution on City property of drinking water in plastic bottles of 21 ounces or less.
It would also set City policy to increase the availability of drinking water in public areas, and bar the use of City funds to purchase bottled water.
Board President David Chiu said people use half a billion bottles of water every week, enough to circle the globe twice, and Americans drink more bottled water than any other nation.
Chiu said SF’s Recology company collects 10 to 15 million single-use plastic water bottles every year:
“We all know that there are incredible, enormous environmental costs of plastic water bottles. It takes 2000 times more energy to manufacture, transport, distribute and discard and recycle plastic water bottles as it does to access tap water.”