The City Council of Los Angeles voted to begin the process of a large-scale ban of plastic water bottles on city property Wednesday night at the Los Angeles City Hall.
The City Council will have different departments and groups in the city come up with plans on how to phase out single-use bottles from all city-owned buildings and all city events. The addition of more water sources and bottle filling stations, in addition to the 200 currently being built within the city, will also be reviewed.
As the ban will be in place at all city owned facilities, the ban would include major centers of activity such as Los Angeles International Airport, the LA Coliseum, and Union Station.
Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Krekorian, a long-time environmental advocate, first proposed a single-use plastic bottle ban in June, citing that single use bottles were bad for the environment, cost the consumer a lot more, and that water is a human right and shouldn’t be profited off of.
“People still feel compelled to buy water in containers made out of non-renewable plastic and shipped to us from Fiji,” said Councilman Krekorian in June. “Shame on you for doing that, folks. If you are doing that, shame on you.”
During the vote Wednesday night, Councilman Krekorian once again led the charge for the council to begin cracking down on single-use plastic bottles.
“When we look at this challenge globally and see that there are 2 billion people across the face of the earth who don’t have reliable sources of drinking water, you can imagine how much that contributes to global instability, global health,” professed Councilman Krekorian in the meeting. “Shame on us as a society that we’re allowing people to become multimillionaires and billion-dollar companies to make money off of this natural resource that belongs to all of us, when they’re providing it to us in the most environmentally damaging means possible by these single-use plastic water bottles.”
Mayor Eric Garcetti also voiced his support during the meeting, outlining some specifics of the ban and noting how the ban would work in the city.
“These initiatives work, and in six years we know they work not only for our environment but they’ve worked for the people who inhabit it,” Garcetti said.
Los Angeles is not the first city in California to enact a large scale ban. A plastic bottle ban in San Francisco was started in 2007 on orders from then Mayor Gavin Newsom to phase bottles out and has since grown in the following years to include fines for using a large numbers of bottles and a ban on bottles that contain less than 21 ounces.
With two of California’s largest cities now in the process of a single-use plastic bottle ban, many other cities, mostly in the Bay Area and Southern California, have hinted at similar bans. As seen in past issues such as the sale of marijuana and the aerosol CFC ban, having one or both of the cities often leads to statewide ban in the near future.
While no exact dates were mentioned during the meeting, the additional 200 water stations are currently on track for completion by 2022, with an overall timeline for the ban loosely centered around the beginning of the Olympics in LA in 2028.