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<< Back to: Member News: ICLEI e-News | issue 8, June - July 2007

City of San Francisco bans purchase of bottled water

July 25, 2007

An executive order signed by Mayor Newsom of San Francisco (California, U.S.A.) bans the use of City funds to purchase bottled water.

Beginning this past 1 July, there is a ban on any city department or agency from purchasing single serving bottles of water using city funds.  This prohibition will apply to city contractors and city funded and/or sponsored events.  By 30 September, all city departments and agencies occupying either city or rental properties will have completed an audit to determine the viability of switching from bottled water dispensers to bottle-less water dispensers that utilizes city water.

Mayor Newsom based his decision on environmental concerns.  In making his decision, the Mayor pointed out that supplying the plastic water bottles that American consumers purchase in one year required more than 47 million gallons of oil, the equivalent of one billion pounds of carbon dioxide that is released into the atmosphere.

Mayor Newsom went on to say that, “Transporting bottled water by boat, truck or train involves burning massive quantities of fossil fuels.  All of this waste and pollution is generated by a product that by objective standards is often inferior to the quality of San Francisco’s pristine tap water.”

Fossil-fuel based power are a major source of greenhouse gas emissions. Green power from renewable energy sources emit no or low greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants. Green power can include electricity generated exclusively from renewable resources including wind, hydro-electric or solar power – or electricity produced from a combination of fossil and renewable resources. For more information on the generation and use of green power at the local level, please visit www.iclei.org/ccp.

San Francisco is one of 190 local governments in the U.S.A. that are currently Members of ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability.  For more information on ICLEI and its activities in the U.S.A., please visit www.iclei.org/usa.

Source:  “San Francisco Bans Bottled Water at City Agencies”, ENS Newswire, 26 June 2007.