Breaking: San Francisco Supervisors Back Ban on Sale of Plastic Water Bottles
Bottled water is one step closer to being passe in San Francisco, after the Board of Supervisors Tuesday approved a measure that would ban the sale of the items at events held on city property.
The ordinance, approved unanimously, would prohibit the sale of drinking water in single-use bottles 21 ounces or less on city property, starting on Oct. 1 for indoor events and in 2016 for those held outdoors. The ban exempts footraces and other athletic events and gives food trucks and large nonprofits, such as the annual Gay Pride Parade, until 2018 to comply. It also allows some groups to apply for waivers and encourages the city to increase the number of water refilling stations in public spaces.
It must be approved by the board one more time before it can be sent to Mayor Ed Lee for consideration.
“We all know with climate change, and the importance of combatting climate change, San Francisco has been leading the way to fight for our environment,” said Supervisor David Chiu, who authored the legislation. “That’s why I ask you to support this ordinance to reduce and discourage single-use, single-serving plastic water bottles in San Francisco.”
Chiu noted that it wasn’t until the 1990s that there was a plastic water bottle industry, which is now a $60 billion a year business. He said one goal of the legislation is to get people thinking about the waste, much like the city’s plastic bag ban, which has dramatically increased the number of consumers who use reusable bags.
“I want to remind people that not long ago, our world was not addicted to plastic water bottles,” he said. “Before (the 1990s), for centuries, everybody managed to stay hydrated.”
Also Tuesday, the board voted to accept $4.2 million from the state to fund a pilot program at the San Francisco County Jail to assist state prisoners close to their release date. The San Francisco County Secure Reentry Program Facility will allow the city to bring local residents home from state prison within 60 days of their release date and house them at the County Jail. While they are there, the inmates will undergo intensive programs, administered by the city’s Adult Probation Department, which will help them assimilate into the community when they are released.
Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi cheered the approval, saying the re-entry area or pod is a key part of the city’s overall strategy for rehabilitating offenders.
“My objective for establishing the re-entry pod is not only about the rigor we put inmates through to prepare themselves for a sustained release, but to challenge our municipal approach to not throw away people once they leave custody,” he said.