IBWA Statement on Town of Concord, Mass., Ban of Bottled Water in Plastic Containers

April 29, 2010

Tom Lauria
International Bottled Water Association
(703) 647-4609
[email protected]

Concord, Massachusetts, has passed a measure that would ban bottled water in plastic containers, effective January 1, 2011. This action was taken during a town meeting on April 30, 2010.

Bottled water is a safe, healthy, convenient food product. With the current high rates of diabetes, obesity and heart disease, any actions that discourage or prevent consumers from drinking water --whether tap or bottled -- are not in the public interest.
Bottled water is one of thousands of food, medicinal, beauty and cleaning products packaged in plastic. Any efforts to reduce the environmental impact of consumer packaging must focus comprehensively all product containers and not single out any one product. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, bottled water makes up 1/3 of one percent of the U.S. waste stream.   Plastic bottled water containers are the single most recycled item with a rate of 30.9%.
According to the Concord Journal newspaper, town officials and the town’s counsel have stated publicly that the town does not have the power to enact such a ban. IBWA is reviewing all possible remedies, including a legal challenge.