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Goodbye Bottled Water

bottled water ban

As of Tuesday, if you’re a resident of Concord, Massachusetts, you’ll have noticed a certain item disappearing from shelves around the city: bottled water. Yes, that’s right, a single-serving bottled water ban has taken effect across the whole city.

The bottled water ban was first proposed by resident Jenn Hill in 2010 to reduce the pollution caused by bottled water as well as encourage the use of tap water. As she puts it, “There’s no reason for bottled water. If someone needs to carry water with them, they can use a reusable bottle. If they really insist on buying it, they can go to another town.”

Which seems to be the case: bottled water sales are on the rise in neighboring cities, which strengthens local concerns that the bottled water ban would divert local money into other communities. Even though there is concrete evidence for the harm bottled water does to the environment, this ban is still quite controversial in its own right.

Not only is it potentially taking away from local business, it’s also a matter of personal right. As resident Robin Garrison said, “The funny thing is that I rarely buy bottled water; I like to refill my own water. It’s just about the right to purchase a legal and healthy product when I want. I feel like it’s a slippery slope: if they’re going to ban this, what else are they going to ban?”

These points are valid, but at the same time, look at the facts of the bottled water industry:

  • It takes an average of 3 full liters of water to produce 1 liter of bottled water.
  • Across the globe, a total of 1.5 million tons of plastic waster are produced in the form of bottled water (and only 5% of them are recycled).
  • 17 million barrels of oil are used in the production of water bottles each year.

As if the staggering statistics of the bottled water industry and the new law aren’t enough, anyone caught still selling the contraband (aka bottled water) will be given a warning the first time, and then fined $25, and $50 thereafter.

Currently, a petition has already been filed to repeal Concord’s bottled water ban. Keep your eyes on the news to see what happens next…

Photo Credit: Dotjay
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