In case you are not aware, I live and work in the beautiful town of Concord. It is the home of Walden Pond, Thoreau, Alcott and countless others famous people.The North Bridge is a famous Revolutionary War site. Why the history lesson? Well last year, we made history. We were the first town to ban the selling of single serving water bottles. Really??? Yes really. Is there a sane logical reason behind this? Yes, there actually is. Do I agree with the ban? No, however, I see both sides. Let’s discuss.
The Case for Banning Water Bottles.
The group that is passionate about the banning the sale of single serving water bottles is quick to tell you that water is available anywhere there is a tap. Due to this fact, and if I may summarize for them, why put water in an environmentally unfriendly container when you can get it just about anywhere. If you use a glass or reusable container we can drastically cutdown of the number of plastic water bottles being used and then thrown away. The best part about plastic is also the worst part of plastic. Plastic never biodegrades, it is incredibly durable. There in lies the problem. While it is good for us in terms of portability and durability, it is terrible for nature. Have you ever Google’d the swirling trash images? Horrifying to say the least.
The Case for Not Banning Water Bottles.
In a word it is convenience. When people are at the sub shop, the pizza restaurant or the convenience store, they want the option to buy a bottle of water as opposed to a soda or sports drink. In the past year, people have told me they are drinking more soda and sports drinks now that water is not available.
I have been known to have a beer every now and then. There is a deposit on the beer bottles. When we get a bunch built up, of course this takes years :), we bring them to a redemption center and collect our money. Why not do the same for water bottles? Would there be 100% compliance? There never is. If 20% of the bottles never get returned, take that money that you would have payed out and put it into education about how awful the water bottles are for the environment.
Encourage cities and towns to put in hydration stations. Make filtered water readily available. Am I more likely to have a reusable water bottle or two rolling around the car if I know I can get good clean water when I am out? I would like to think so.
Start young with encouraging reusable water bottles. Give them out in the schools, make sure the kids are used to it and they will not know any other way.
Lastly, end the ban. People are inherently good and will try to do the right things by the environment when taught well. When people do forget, don’t force them into sugar laden options. No one thinks that is a good idea.
Anyone that comes into my office knows that I am always harping on you to drink more water. For the environments sake, let’s do it from reusable bottles and recycled cups. If you do find yourself out and want a drink, please make sure to grab your water bottle and recycle it when you are done.