Concord, Massachusetts bans sale of small water bottles

Bottled water Not everyone in Concord agrees with the ban on the sale of small bottles of water

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The US town of Concord in Massachusetts has banned the sale of bottled water in units smaller than one litre.

The law came into effect on January 1, after a three-year campaign to reduce waste and encourage tap water use.

First offenders will get a warning. Anyone caught selling the banned bottles a second time will be fined $25 (£15), with $50 for further offences.

The Australian town of Bundanoon introduced a complete ban on bottled water in 2009.

More than 90 universities in the US and others around the world have already restricted the sale of plastic bottles, as have some local government authorities.,

Concord has not introduced any restrictions on the sale of small bottles of other drinks, and the bylaw has an exemption in case of emergencies.

Campaigners say Americans consume 50 billion small bottles of water each year.

The bottled water industry says the small bottles are essential to modern life and encourage people to live healthier lifestyles.

But Jean Hill who led the campaign for the ban in Concord, told the New York Times: "What I'm trying to do with this bylaw is to increase the barriers to buying single-serve bottled water."

"In order to help people change, you need to put policies in place that steer them away from buying bottled water and toward considering the many other good alternatives."

Some of the town's residents argue the ban is pointless, as they can go down the road and buy small bottles from shops in neighbouring towns.

Ms Hill says she was inspired to begin her campaign by her grandson, who told her about a vast floating island of plastic waste in the Pacific Ocean.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 406.

    As someone who is from this town, I think this is very interesting. The only complaints I have heard is that this ban will make people choose unhealthy beverages rather than water. Recently, however, our high school installed systems that use recycled water to fill reusable water bottles-so far, this has saved over 20,000 plastic bottles. Plastic waste is huge issue, personally I am for this ban.

  • rate this

    Comment number 400.

    The city of Concord is a bully. I rarely buy bottled water in small containers. However, there are a few instances when I need it. I keep one in the car for emergency thirst. A cup would spill and also let in dirt over a period of days and weeks. Children sometimes need water. This measure may harm children. In past years, I searched for a store and bought Coke. Water is healthier.

  • rate this

    Comment number 273.

    I'll make note of this town and entirely avoid it in the future. That local government is way over the top if it thinks it now has constitutional authority to tell us what kind of water we can drink. These kinds of cultural shifts must come voluntarily from the citizens rather than governmental bans. And there is such a thing as recycling, too. The majority of plastic bottles get recycled.

  • rate this

    Comment number 225.

    Thirty years ago most people didn't need to carry plastic bottles of water around with them. The excessive use of bottled water is a modern fad, not a necessity. There's far too much plastic around, so anything that reduces its use seems like a good idea to me.

  • rate this

    Comment number 194.

    Plastic waste issue needs addressing, but banning small bottles of water is a ridiculous infringement on people. Consider industrial packaging and non reclyable plastics, they are probably more harmful.

    Oh wait, big business fights back, the common man doesn't.


Comments 5 of 8


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