Be Green or Be Behind

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With all we know about the harmful effects of certain things on our environment people are starting to act accordingly by trying to be as “green” as possible. For some, this is simply trying to recycle more or maybe drive a little less to reduce emissions. For others, however, they want to take the next step.
This is the case for Concord, Massachusetts. They have decided to place a ban on the sale of single-serve water bottles smaller than 1 liter after a 403-364 vote. This ban went into effect on New Year’s Day. The town’s website quotes the law as “It shall be unlawful to sell non-sparkling, unflavored drinking water in single-serving polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles of 1 liter (34 ounces) or less in the Town of Concord on or after January 1, 2013.” Any stores who violate the ban will receive a warning the first time, a $25 fine for the second, and a $50 fine for every subsequent infraction. This ban will be temporarily lifted during emergencies.
Jean Hill, 84, is the person who is mostly responsible for this bill being passed in town. Hill told the Boston Globe that she was “elated” at the pass of the bill. “I’m so proud of the town,” she remarked. Back in 2010, Hill told the New York Times “I’m going to work until I drop on this.” She also spearheaded two other attempts the get the ban put into place before the January ban but they failed.

The opinions in town vary, and not everyone agrees with Hill on the matter. Local business owners oppose the ban saying that it restricts freedom of choice while others simply think it will not help anything because people will just drive to neighboring towns to buy their water.

Concord isn’t the only place where the pressure to become more “green” is developing new laws.

In fact, Bundanoon, a town in Australia, placed the ban on the sale of single-serve water bottles back in 2009 and it believes that it is the first government anywhere to do so.

San Francisco is considering an ordinance that will require owners of new and renovated buildings to install filling stations and the city already has such stations in its parks, schools, and its airport.

It is important to be aware of these new eco-friendly laws that are reaching international consciousness, so if they ever spread to Verona we can adapt quickly to them, and welcome them.