In Brief

San Francisco Moves to Ban Plastic Water Bottles

water bottles, recycling, reusing
(Image credit: Water bottle image via Shutterstock)

San Francisco is one step closer to outlawing the sale of plastic bottles of water on city property.

The city's Board of Supervisors met this week and unanimously voted to begin phasing out the sale of single-use, plastic water bottles less than 21 ounces on city-owned land, reported NBC Bay Area. The ordinance must be approved a second time by the board before it is sent to Mayor Ed Lee. If the ban is approved, it will eventually extend to outdoor events held in San Francisco, although footraces and other athletic events will be exempt, according to NBC.

"Bottled water is incredibly harmful to the environment," Katherine Sawyer, Think Outside the Bottle campaign organizer, told NBC. "It takes a plastic water bottle about a thousand years to biodegrade, and it's just unnecessary to commodify water in a bottle when we have almost universal access to safe healthy tap water."

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Denise Chow
Live Science Contributor

Denise Chow was the assistant managing editor at Live Science before moving to NBC News as a science reporter, where she focuses on general science and climate change. Before joining the Live Science team in 2013, she spent two years as a staff writer for, writing about rocket launches and covering NASA's final three space shuttle missions. A Canadian transplant, Denise has a bachelor's degree from the University of Toronto, and a master's degree in journalism from New York University.