San Francisco supervisors unanimously voted this afternoon (Tuesday, March 4) to ban plastic water bottle sales on city property.
“The environmental impact of our yearly consumption of billions of plastic water bottles is enormous. Given that San Franciscans can access clean and inexpensive Hetch Hetchy water out of our taps, we need to wean ourselves off our recent addiction to plastic water bottles,” stated Board President David Chiu, who proposed the ban. “I hope San Franciscans can again lead the way by drinking water without harming the environment or the bottom line.”
The vote came amid strenuous objections from the water bottle industry and concerns about its fiscal impact on street fairs.
As the Bay Area Reporter has noted in several articles, the sale of plastic water bottles will be banned at large San Francisco street fairs and outdoor events on public property. LGBT events impacted by the rule include the San Francisco Pride parade and festival, Folsom Street Fair, and the Castro Street Fair.
Outdoor events run by nonprofits will need to comply with the rule by January 1, 2018. It only applies to nonprofit events with attendance of more than 250,000.
Commercial events that occur outdoors on city property or streets will need to implement the new rule starting on October 1, 2016. Foot races and other participant sporting events are excluded.
A second and final vote on the ordinance will take place at the board meeting next Tuesday, March 11, after which it will be sent to Mayor Ed Lee for his signature.