San Francisco Mulls Bottled-Water Ban

Proposal would begin with large events on public property

San Francisco Mulls Bottled-Water Ban

SAN FRANCISCO -- San Francisco may enact one of the strictest bottle-water bans in the country if its Board of Supervisors approves a proposal to ban its sale on public property, according to a report from KQED.

The ordinance, introduced by Supervisor David Chiu in December, requires that events held on public property--such as in parks, concerts, large events and mobile food trucks--with more than 100 people make tap water available instead of selling bottled water.

It would initially apply only to events that have access to adequate on-site water, but by late 2016 would apply to all events on San Francisco property besides foot races and other sporting events.

Proponents say this makes sense on multiple levels:

The sales ban would build on an executive order from 2007, signed by former Mayor Gavin Newsom, that prohibits use of city money to buy bottled water, according to the report. The initiative cut $500,000 of annual city spending.

Smaller municipalities have taken steps to go bottled water-free, but San Francisco would become the first major city to ban bottled water sales.

The legislation is co-sponsored by Supervisor Eric Mar and supported by various environmental groups, but the International Bottled Water Association has opposed the effort.

The group said in a statement that it “supports the right of San Franciscans to choose clean, refreshing, reliable zero-calorie bottled water when making their beverage decisions.”

The group said, “Efforts to eliminate or reduce access to bottled water will force consumers to choose less-healthy drink options that have more packaging, more additives (e.g., sugar, caffeine), and greater  environmental impacts than bottled water.”

The proposal will get a public hearing in late January.