San Francisco Bans Bottled Water

Posted on March 23, 2008


The mayor of San Francisco has just put the cap on bottled water by not allowing the city to spend any of its money on bottled water.

The transportation and distribution, developing the plastic for the water bottles, the cost of the water, has a huge environmental and economic impact. As a consequence of the prolific growth in bottled waters, we in the city feel we have a responsibility to address its cost and its environmental impact. We are looking to eliminate completely all of bottled water consumption supported by city money but also to begin an educational campaign to convey the real cost of bottled water, transported half way around the world. We are looking at a marketing campaign showing bottled water compared to a barrel of oil, that shows it takes far more energy to transport the water than the oil.

The bottled water companies dissagree with this ban, but when you think about it, it does make sense. We already pay to have water come directly into our homes via tap, so why should we pay extra to have bottled water? In fact, studies have shown that is is actually healthier to drink tap water than the supposedly “pure” bottled water. Me? I think that this is a crazy idea. Okay, so tap water hass more fourides. Big deal! I am willing to sacrifice flurides in order to be able to bring a drink anywhere. I like having bottled water in our truck on long rides so that I can have a drink anytime, anywhere. What about you? What do you think about this ban, and the unsettling prospect of having bans placed in other places. In fact, the province of Ontario is planing on banning bottled water sales in a few years.

Here, take a look at this. (Taken from Neutral Existence .com)

  • City tap water can have no confirmed E.coli or fecal coliform bacteria. FDA bottled water rules include no such prohibition (a certain amount of any type of coliform bacteria is allowed in bottled water).
  • City tap water, from surface water, must be filtered and disinfected. In contrast, there are no federal filtration or disinfection requirements for bottled water.
  • Most cities using surface water have had to test for Cryptosporidium or Giardia, two common water pathogens that can cause diarrhea and other intestinal problems, yet bottled water companies do not have to do this.
  • City tap water must meet standards for certain important toxic or cancer-causing chemicals, such as phthalate (a chemical that can leach from plastic, including plastic bottles); some in the industry persuaded FDA to exempt bottled water from the regulations regarding these chemicals.
  • City water systems must issue annual “right to know” reports telling consumers what is in their water. Bottlers successfully killed a “right to know” requirement for bottled water.
  • But, there is another reason to ban the well known water bottle. It’s not just the water that is bad for you, It’s the bottle itself! First of all, the bottles are made from plastic, which is made from oil. Therefore, bottled water makes our country more dependant on foreign oil, which costs a lot. Second, the way that these bottles are distributed relies heavily on gas-guzzling engines. This also costs a lot and depletes our dwindling amounts of gasoline in the country. This also adds pollution to the atmosphere. Last, but definatley not least, most water bottles don’t get recycled. Instead, they reside in city landfills where they slowly decompose, creating vast amounts of methane and other gases which increases greenhouse gases.

    So, what should you do? The answer is simple. Drink tap water! Don’t like the taste? I don’t and so do many others. Well, the solution is to jet a simple water filter. I don’t have any reccommendations at the moment but I might later on.

    Enjoy! Remember to leave a coment telling me what you think! 

    Posted in: News