As the world becomes more and more aware of the plastic crisis facing our planet, some cities are leading in the charge in making a change. One such city is the forward thinking San Francisco who has decided to ban plastic bottles.
Back in 2014, San Francisco introduced its first plastic bottle ban, but the restrictions were limited so the council has come back with new, and much tougher, regulations that prohibit the sale of plastic bottles at events held on city-owned property. In fact, there will be no plastic bottles on any city-owned spaces, and even government agencies will be banned from purchasing bottled water for their offices and worksites.
San Francisco’s hope is that people see sense and start drinking more tap water, of which the city has very high quality, instead of spending money on bottled water. Fines for violating the bottle ban in public spaces are said to as high as $1,000! Now if that doesn’t make you bring your reusable bottle with you wherever you go, nothing will.
Sadly, for now the tough new law only applies to city-owned properties, so grocery stores and mini-marts are allowed to continue selling bottled water. Regardless, San Francisco is ahead of the curve when it comes to waste reduction and we are on board. They’ve also banned plastic bags and plastic foam containers and by 2020, they’ve pledged to eliminate all waste that goes to the landfill, and their diversion rate (i.e. reusing, recycling or upcycling instead of binning) stands at 80% so they must be doing something right.
Some may wonder why cities like San Fran (and all over the world) don’t just invest in better recycling processes, but the truth is when plastic is recycled, it becomes less and less usable each time, eventually resulting in microplastics anyway, so saying no to plastic is truly the best way forward. Here’s to more cities bringing in laws like this!