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S.F. bans bottled water for workers

From the Associated Press

Citing environmental concerns, Mayor Gavin Newsom has issued an executive order prohibiting city departments from buying bottled water.

In a decision announced Thursday, Newsom said the ban would take effect July 1 and extend to all city and county water coolers by Dec. 1.

Tony Winnicker, spokesman for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, said Newsom’s decision would save taxpayer money and combat global warming.

More than 40 million gallons of oil are needed to make the plastic water bottles Americans purchase each year, according to data cited in the mayor’s announcement.

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The news release also cites the environmental effect of transporting and disposing of the bottles, more than a billion of which end up in California’s landfills each year.

In addition, the mayor says municipal water is often better than bottled.

When the ban goes into effect, city and county offices will dispense municipal tap water from the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir.

Winnicker said exceptions will be made in cases where potable water is not easily available or poses health concerns.

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The mayor’s ban on bottled water applies to city and county offices unless it is changed by the next administration, said Joe Arellano, Newsom’s spokesman.

“We’re hoping to set the example for the private sector and other cities in getting off the bottle,” Winnicker said.


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