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Legislative Tracking: Plastic Water Bottle Bans

A woman is wearing gloves and holding a trash bag as she collects trash along the water

Americans purchased 11 billion plastic beverage bottles in 2018. Only one-fifth of all plastic is recycled. That means 8.8 billion plastic water bottles were left in the streets, landfills, and oceans last year.

Plastic waste is a major environmental and public health concern. Consumers have turned to companies and governments to help reduce the amount of plastic waste.

Some municipalities have even gone as far as to pass government regulations that ban the use of some plastic products in their cities. Since packaging is the number one in plastic polluters, plastic water bottles are the target.

The question is, will a ban like this come to your city soon? It seems likely, in time. Especially given that consumers have made a significant shift towards sustainability. Here’s what you need to know about plastic water bottle bans, and how Agenda Discovery’s software can help!

The Global Government Agenda Alert On Plastic

According to our recent data, waste issues are discussed in one out of every four local government meetings. Additionally, plastic bans are happening in the United States and across the world.

Bundanoon, a town in Australia, banned bottled waters back in 2009. It was the first ban of its kind in the world. Many different regions of Canada have put government regulations in place that ban the use of plastic water bottles. But, the most significant was in Toronto, the country’s largest city.

City Regulations To Ban Water Bottles

More cities across the country have initiated plastic bans. Chances are, you’ll likely see the issue on your city council calendar and agenda sooner than later. San Francisco is the largest city to ban plastic water bottles. It began its plastic water bottle phase-out plan back in 2007.

Aside from San Francisco, cities across Massachusetts have led successful campaigns against plastic water bottles. Concord, MA was the first town to start a complete ban on the sale of plastic water bottles. Other towns near Concord have attempted bans, getting water bottle regulations added to the city council meeting schedule, but not passing the vote.

The city of Brookline, MA made a law that forbids any city money to be spent on plastic bottles and Martha’s Vineyard banned sales of non-alcoholic carbonated beverages in plastic bottles. Earlier this year a regional campaign in Cape Cod began the movement to completely eradicate the use of plastic bottles from the area, the second phase of this process will start in January 2020.


Legislative Tracking Polyethylene Terephthalate

Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is a toxic chemical found in plastic. Banning this chemical is another indirect way governments can officially forbid plastic water bottles. PET is the chemical that makes it dangerous to drink water bottles after they have been sitting in a hot car. Cities and even states like California aren’t only pushing for bans of water bottles, but the use of harmful plastics completely.

Our Agenda Discovery software suggests that more bans like this will be proposed over the next decade. There is research that indicates that PET can also interact with medications when it is used in medication bottles. Bans like these would not only focus on water bottles, but the plastic used in packaging and other products too.


What’s Next? Using Agenda Software

City regulations about the use of plastic water bottles mean well but can create new challenges on the city council agenda. For example, cities and towns that ban the use of plastic bottles will likely need to establish a new community water program, and introduce measures like drinkable water in water fountains, more water stations installed, and more reusable bottles sold in stores. Additionally, cities will need to vote on the types of punishment and fines for breaking the law.


How Agenda Discovery Can Help

It can be difficult to keep track of every meeting on the city council calendar. It can be even more time consuming to break down what will be discussed in every city council meeting schedule, which is why our agenda discovery software was made. Our technology creates a government agenda alert every time a topic of interest is added to your local government’s schedule.

Have questions? Want to see how our platform can work for you? Request a demo here!


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