19.03.2014 - 16:18

San Francisco bans plastic bottles

After its ban on plastic bags in 2007, San Francisco recently introduced a ban on non-refillable PET bottles; thereby, making San Francisco the first city worldwide to remove plastic bottles from retail shelves – a political move, which will benefit the environment.

Recently, the city of San Francisco introduced a ban on the sale of non-refillable PET bottles on public property and city-permitted events; thereby making it the first major city in the U.S.A. and worldwide to impose such as ban. This is not the first time that San Francisco has supported the environment in this way. In 2007, the city council of the Californian metropolis voted for a ban on plastic bags in supermarkets and drugstores.

According to the new ban, all plastic bottles with a total volume of 0.6 litres or less are scheduled to vanish from retail shelves by 2020. The ban holds neither in the case of special sports events nor in that of water shortages – a common problem in California.  

The American Beverage Association is understandably against the ban and argues that the ban is a solution to an imaginary problem. It claims that San Francisco has such good recycling facilities that a ban is absolutely unnecessary. This might be true for San Francisco, but definitely not for the United States as a whole. North Americans consume the most non-refillable PET bottles in the world. They purchase a total of 29 billion bottles a year, of which only 13 percent are recycled.

Despite the criticism and the considerable financial losses, the city is determined to follow through with the ban. In particular, the environment will profit from this political move. The ban would lead to a marginal reduction in the global waste production. If other US-cities and countries were to follow suit, the positive impact on nature and the environment would be even greater. We can learn a lot from San Francisco.        

Image Source: Gerhard1946 and mayurdicosta on Flickr




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