San Francisco Bans Sale of Water Bottles Within City Limits

San Francisco is taking drastic action against water bottle pollution. They are completely prohibiting water bottle sales on the city’s properties. Why? “Given that San Franciscans can access clean and inexpensive water out of our taps, we need to wean ourselves out of our addiction to plastic water bottles,” said David Chiu, the author of the ordinance.


On Tuesday, March 4th 2014, the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to pass the ordinance that bans sale of plastic water bottles smaller than 21 ounces on city property. This will be effective on October 1st 2014.

San Francisco is leading the way again by reducing plastic waste. In 2007, the city was the first to ban plastic bag use in large grocery stores. In 2012 it further banned non-compostable plastic bags from being used in restaurants and retail stores. Today, stores are required to charge a minimum of 10-cents on allowed plastic bags with some exceptions.

Chiu is very passionate about making San Francisco the most green city. Other arguments he uses to support this new ban is that water bottles consume a lot of oil in production and transportation. Also, that the “fad” of water bottles started in the 1990s and before then “everybody managed to stay hydrated” —Chiu [Source]

The Plastic Water Bottle Fight Rages On

Even though this ordinance may seem completely innovative, it is only the next stage in the longer fight against environmental pollution by water bottles and water bottle companies.

  • in 2008 the Toronto City Council approved a water bottle ban to begin in 2012. The ban prohibits distribution of water bottles in all city facilities and parks. (Canada beat us to it)
  • Dozens of US universities have water-bottle-free policies with various levels of strictness.
  • There are 14 water-bottle-free national parks, including the Grand Canyon National Park.
  • The City of Concord was the first US city to pass a water-bottle ban. The law prohibits the sale of non-sparking, unflavored drinking water in plastic bottles of 1-liter or less.
  • Supervisor Chiu of the city of San Francisco previously sponsored legislation that would require water fountains with water bottle filling capabilities in all new construction in the city.

Twitter Reactions to the San Francisco Water Bottle Ordinance

Positive Reactions

And even all the way from Indonesia, from the World Wildlife Fund:

Negative Reactions

And, of course, the GOP response:

Follow the law, or else

Regardless of the mixed responses to the new ordinance, it includes a penalty for those who don’t comply: a hefty $1,000 fine each time they are caught selling individual water bottles in a way conflicting with the ordinance.

So, yes this will go into effect in October and it may start catching on in other cities. Will we see sales of other bottled products such as juices go up? It is very likely, however we hope that the majority of current water bottle drinkers do not merely switch to different plastic bottles, but instead switch to refillable bottles.

What are your thoughts? Comment below or send me a tweet at @juiceituppnow. I can help hook you up with the best juicer for you; they put plastic to a much better use!


Comments (4)

  1. Opal March 20, 2014
    • Aaron C. April 3, 2014
  2. Kathryn Dilligard March 28, 2014

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