Near a year ago San Francisco was the first major city to ban the sale of plastic water bottles on public property in order to reduce the waste generated by the use of single-use plastic water bottles. The ban will phase out the sales of plastic bottles holding 21 ounces (0,6l) or less on city property, indoor or outdoor, which will impact street fairs, food track operators, park vendors… Waivers are allowed if an adequate alternative water source is not available but the fine can reach up to 1000$ for violators of the ban.
We want you to reflect on the ban and decide if you agree with it or not. In order to help you deciding let’s investigate why is bottled water a concern according to Ban the Bottle (http //www.banthebottle.net/bottled-water-facts/), an organization promoting the environment by advocating bans on one-time-use plastic water bottles:
- Making bottles to meet America’s demand for bottled water uses more than 17 million barrels of oil annually, enough to fuel 1.3 million cars for a year1. And that’s not even including the oil used for transportation.
- The energy we waste using bottled water would be enough to power 190,000 homes.
- Last year, the average American used 167 disposable water bottles, but only recycled 38.
- Americans used about 50 billion plastic water bottles last year. However, the U.S.’s recycling rate for plastic is only 23 percent, which means 38 billion water bottles – more than $1 billion worth of plastic – are wasted each year.
- The recommended eight glasses of water a day, at U.S. tap rates equals about $.49 per year; that same amount of bottled water is about $1,400.
- Antimony, which is found in PET plastic bottles, in small doses can cause dizziness and depression; in larger doses it can cause nausea, vomiting and death.
The alternatives proposed by them is to advocate for the tapped water and to carry with you the amount of water you forecast to consume when you are not going to have a water source available using solutions such as the ones proposed by Nalgene (http://nalgene.com/) and Camelbak (http //www.camelbak.com/en/International/Sports-Recreation.aspx) and to use a filtered water pitcher when you don’t like the taste of the tap water on your area.