San Francisco Becomes First City To Ban The Sale Of Plastic Bottles

The battle to stop plastic bottles from polluting the city is underway

Plastic pollution is today one of the largest environmental challenges mankind faces with scientists estimating that by 2050 there will be more units of plastic in the ocean than fish.

Conservative estimates have found that we throw away enough plastic to circle the globe four times annually. Today 50% of plastic is being thrown out after the first use.

New studies also suggest that the consumption of water and food in petroleum based plastic bottles and packaging is detrimental to our health. These are due to the various harmful chemicals in plastic which leeches into the food and water, which are then absorbed into the human body.

A City view of San Francisco

One of the most harmful compounds in plastic is bisphenol A or BPA. The exposure to this toxin during pregnancy has been associated with low birth weight in newborn children. The substance has also been proven to have disastrous effects on the endocrine system, through the thyroid gland.

This chemical has been initially used in the process of manufacturing everyday plastics like helmets, food containers, goggles, paper receipts, and the coating of metal tins and cans for food.

The city of San Francisco has taken a stand against plastic pollution and the negative impact it has on human health and the environment. Initiative was taken by becoming the first city to ban the sale of plastic water bottles. This is the start of what could become a global movement which will lower the amount of plastic waste discarded annually.

Plastic bottles which end up in waterways are notorious for causing injury to marine life

This initiative was strongly supported by the Think Outside the Bottle campaign. The campaign encourages restrictions of the “eco-unfriendly product”. The fines for violating this ban can go up to $1,000. Hence, this will definitely stimulate you to purchase a reusable glass bottle.

Joshua Arce, the chairman of the Commission on the Environment, declared that this ban is “another step forward in our zero-waste goal. We had big public events for decades without plastic and we’ll do fine without them again.”

Previously, San Francisco banned plastic bags and plastic foam containers, so this is not the first attempt to reduce the plastic pollution. By 2020, they plan to eliminate all waste that goes to the landfill, and currently, the diversion rate stands at 80%.

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