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 289.

    good idea

  • rate this

    Comment number 288.

    280.winnoch2 - no longer dusting confectionery
    10 Minutes ago
    Cherry (post 256), I'm afraid you've been brainwashed by the 'mineral' water industry.


    If it was that pure, it wouln't need BEST BEFORE dates.

  • rate this

    Comment number 287.

    Good ! Amazingly a bit of sanity from the us.

  • rate this

    Comment number 286.

    I loved it when Pepsi were forced to admit they were selling bottled tap water! Amazingly "Aquafina" was a bestseller. It reminded me of that episode of 'Only Fools' when Del Boy sold tap water as 'Peckham Spring'.

    It seems our grandparents were correct when they told us that a fool and their money are soon parted.

  • rate this

    Comment number 285.

    In France bottled water is generally more expensive that cheap bottled wine

  • rate this

    Comment number 284.

    @poisonpill are you serious?! Does the flouride in the water "deplete your bodily fluids"? To quote Doc Strangelove...hahahahaha. Brilliant idea to ban the billions of tons of oil used for these stupid little bottles. You know if we reduced consumption of these plastics we would see petrol prices plummet. Hows that a negative result?

  • rate this

    Comment number 283.

    To those who advocate tap water:
    After living in 7 different countries in 4 continents, I must say that in SOME places, you are right. And in MANY places, you are wrong. Try to tell people in South America to drink tap water. In Africa. In Middle East. If you want them to have health problems, that is.
    And that "most of the water we drink are already tap water" is wrong. They are purified many tim

  • rate this

    Comment number 282.

    Ban this, ban that, what's the obsession with banning things? Bring back my Chloroflorocarbons and let the sunlight wash over us unfiltered. Bring back the high volume loo and save me the hours every month spent unclogging this low-flow joke. The Earth is a ball of iron rock, it can take it. All those braying apes on its surface... maybe not.

  • rate this

    Comment number 281.

    winnoch2 - Tap water, at least in my city, contains fluoride. This is reason enough not to drink it. I could be like you and just say many tests have shown that tap water contains feces. After all, we don't have to provide sources for our statements, do we?

  • rate this

    Comment number 280.

    Cherry (post 256), I'm afraid you've been brainwashed by the 'mineral' water industry. In actual fact, many tests show that tap water is far cleaner than bottled water, in terms of microbes and bacteria. Tap water is also subject to more stringent hygiene tests than bottled. It's also a few thousand times cheaper...

  • rate this

    Comment number 279.

    This is just another rule because of low life scumbags abuse of freedoms & rights.

    Personally, I'd rather throw these numpties in public stocks & chuck their mini bottles at them rather than rest of society be bound by restrictive rules just because of a few dispicable trashy people cannot behave decently.

    Other than that, tax the drinks to pay for clearing up littered bottles

  • rate this

    Comment number 278.

    I am not a faddist but the water supply where I live comes out of a lake, is heavily chlorinated, especially in the summer. It gives me the squits in comparison with when I am in an area using less chlorine or when drinking bottled water. All soft drinks in small units could be banned but for the fact that buying drinks in cafes costs a fortune and there are no public water fountains anymore

  • rate this

    Comment number 277.

    There's no reason to ever use cheap plastic bottles, whether for one use or multiple. If you're health-conscious enough to be drinking water all day, you should be health-conscious to know that the bottle you bought is harming you with chemicals. People should buy steel ones, or at the very least anything but plastic.

    I carry mine around wherever I go, so I'm never in need of buying any water.

  • rate this

    Comment number 276.

    ok, Im biased coz the water here is good but what did we all do, not that long ago, when tap water was all there was? The level of pollution from these bottles is seroius enough to warrant some action. Doing nothing solves nothing.'

  • rate this

    Comment number 275.

    Bottled water has always been just a huge cunsumer con - and seriously environmentally unsound.
    Not just the plastic bottles - but the tons of fuel wasted carting it around the globe.

  • rate this

    Comment number 274.

    Guessing starting with banning water bottles is a first step, but it's a long way away from banning assault rifles....

  • 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 272.

    What about drink cans? And other plastic wrapping of small stuff like sweets, chocolates, etc? At least plastic bottles are transparent and can be recycled too.
    If a person wants, they can go to a neighbouring town and buy a case... and pollute the air with their cars!
    If Concord signs up for the Kyoto treaty the US is trying to avoid, then it would make sense. Anything else... American stupidity.

  • rate this

    Comment number 271.

    Give me convenience or give me death.

    Ever tried drinking England's horrible milk water? Ugh, so full of lime even a purifier can't get rid of it. The "drink tap water" argument works in countries with nice tap water, like Scotland, but England's water is filth.

  • rate this

    Comment number 270.

    The weirdest thing Ihave seen is English walkers carrying bottles of French and English water THROUGH SNOWDONIA, in Wales which has arguably the purest water on the face of th Earth pouring down from the mountains.


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