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San Francisco Bans Bottled Water at City Offices

June 26, 2007

Source: SFGov

Citing environmental concerns, on Thursday Mayor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order prohibiting city departments from buying bottled water. The ban will take effect July 1 and extend to all city and county water coolers by December 1.

Tony Winnicker, spokesman for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, said Newsom's decision would save taxpayer money and combat global warming.

More than 40 million gallons of oil are needed to make the plastic water bottles Americans purchase each year, according to the Container Recycling Institute. More than a billion water bottles end up in California's landfills each year.

In addition, the mayor says municipal water is often better than bottled.

When the ban goes into effect, city and county offices will dispense municipal tap water from the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir.

Winnicker said exceptions will be made in cases where potable water is not easily available or poses health concerns.

"We're hoping to set the example for the private sector and other cities in getting off the bottle," Winnicker said.

Download a copy of the executive order here (pdf). 

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