Upon walking into a grocery store these days, we think nothing of seeing shelves and shelves, walls upon walls of bottled water. And many of us -- whether we're proud to admit it or not -- find ourselves schlepping said water bottles home on a regular basis. But this is a practice that recently came to a halt in one Northeast community. The historic town of Concord, Massachusetts has enacted a ban on the sale of single-serving plastic water bottles (of one liter or less), after a town meeting vote in April.
They're one of the first towns in the U.S. to make the bottles illegal. And yes, what they've done sounds pretty extreme -- but only at first.
Ultimately, it sounds like a brilliant idea -- and a step in the right direction, much like what Starbucks did today by offering customers a $1 reusable plastic tumbler. And I believe that, as local Concord activists have stated, banning the bottles will cut down on plastic waste and reduce the use of the fossil fuels used to make the bottles.
All right, confession time: I am ashamed -- yes, that's right, ashamed! -- to admit I do buy bottled water. I'm afraid of the known, reported toxins in our town's water. I have health conditions that could be exacerbated by certain pollutants, like heavy metals, or additives, like fluoride. On account of some of my health concerns, I also strive to be more alkaline so I buy higher pH, less acidic water. If my fiance and I owned our own home right now, we would have already installed one of those fancy water filtering systems. But we don't, so we're waiting, and I buy water in the meantime. And it's horrible, I know. But at least I buy the biggest bottles I can -- not the little guys Concord has outlawed.
So maybe I'm currently a total hypocrite, fine. But I still feel like any effort to reduce plastic waste is a good move. I try to make up for my bottled water consumption by refusing to accept plastic bags and always bringing my reusable bags to shop. I love that Seattle has a plastic bag ban, and I hope that spreads east. And Concord's got the right idea -- there really is no reason for these teensy weensy water bottles especially. (The mini ones that are like two sips worth drive me nuts!)
In the end, we'll adjust, adapt, bring our own bags to the store, and start using water filters and stainless steel water bottles. The bottom line is that when it comes to some of these items that are straight-up wasteful, it really is so easy to do away with them -- we'd be fools not to.
What do you think about banning bottled water?
I don't buy bottled water myself. I think it's a waste of resources, especially since most of it is just filtered water like a brita. I also think people can buy what they want. As I see it, our country and the world struggles with what is a personal choice and what appears to be a personal choice, but really effects many. Many of the debates on cafemom deal with this philosophical question. Our choices effect others whether is bottled water, toilets, medical care, finances and so on. What is communal versus personal choice? I imagine these debates will continue forever unless we enter some utopian state.
by Cam1975January 5, 2013 at 1:16 PM
ban it..i don't care..i don't buy it.
by kattuJanuary 5, 2013 at 1:16 PMI don't buy bottles water unless we are getting a hurricane and we might lose power and water. I love that Concord is doing this and hope they implement something like that here.
I don't agree with it, sorry. Don't get me wrong, I don't buy a lot of bottled water, we have a filter for our tap, but for those moments when I'm out and I really crave something to drink and I prefer to have water, I want to be able to buy a bottle of it.
by AnonymousJanuary 5, 2013 at 3:17 PMDunb,stupid govt.
They're only doing it on 20oz bottles because people don't return or recycle, they toss them. And tossing them is trash. Either on the street or in the dump. There aren't any fast food restaurants in Concord either. I know many towns in MA that don't allow fast food restaurants because of the trash that they create. On the streets, on the sidewalks, etc. People are less likely to toss a gallon jug, that typically ends up in your home.
by WandaSueJanuary 6, 2013 at 11:49 AM
Just the government butting into our business again, people don't realize we are not that free.
Hmph....people only looking at it from the "I don't buy it so I don't care perspective" are really sheeple. That much government interference is outrageous. If things keep going like they are now, believe me, soon they will ban something that matters to you - like disposable diapers or wipes, or formula, or sugar, or whatever. Then you will realize that this should have been stopped from the jump. We are no longer free, and while this may seem minor - every journey begins with one step - even if it is a small one - and we are headed straight down the path towards total government control. When are you folks gonna wake up and smell the coffee?