Sunday, July 15, 2012

SF considering ways to limit plastic water bottles

San Francisco, the city by the bay, the city that regulated Happy Meal toys and banned plastic grocery bags, has a new witch hunt in progress, plastic water bottles.

City officials want to require owners of new and renovated buildings with water fountains to install special bottle-filling taps. The law is suppose to herd thirsty people to refill their water bottles, instead of using another bottle of Aquafina.

"This is the appropriate next step to make it easier for San Franciscans to get out of the bad habit of using environmentally wasteful plastic water bottles and into the good habit of using reusable water containers," said Board of Supervisors President David Chiu,(photo below) who introduced the legislation.

Bottle-filling taps are already located at San Francisco International Airport and at some city parks and schools.
Installed behind a drinking fountain's regular faucet, the dispensed chilled water comes in a quick-streaming flow that will fill most water containers.

Advocates say having bottle-specific spigots encourages the reuse of water bottles by eliminating long waits to fill them and removing concerns about germs. 
But there are those who are horrified at the thought of drinking from a fountain exposed to so many mouths, even though city officials say water fountains are just as safe as bottle taps.

Many people doubt the ordinance is even necessary, since the new taps use the same public water that comes out of faucets and drinking fountains.

Adding a bottled-water spigot to existing water fountains would cost at least around $750, according to manufacturers.

Chiu said he considered other aggressive measures to do away with the bottle, including a fee and an outright ban. The proposed ordinance is less severe and is meant to raise awareness about drinking tap water as an alternative, he said.

Environmental groups are supportive of efforts to wean San Franciscans from plastic water bottles.

"San Francisco has among the best drinking water in country. It's ridiculous that people would go out and spend their now very limited dollars to buy bottled water," said Mae Wu, an attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Chris Hogan, an International Bottled Water Association spokesman, welcomed efforts to encourage drinking tap water, but said they don't require demonizing bottled water.

"When you make the argument to discourage people from drinking bottled water, you are removing the healthiest option when it comes to choosing a bottled beverage," Hogan said.

We could care less if people drink tap water, that's up to them. But we like the taste of bottled water, that's what is important to us.
So, we just purchased 10 cases of bottled water for the Voodoo Kitchen.
Cheers David Chiu.