Concord Puts the Kibosh on Plastic Water Bottle Sales

plastic water bottleLast night, Concord voted to ban the bottle. (Photo via iStockPhoto.)

At Concord’s annual town meeting last night, residents passed a bylaw banning the sale of single-serve plastic water bottles by 39 votes, 403-364, according to Wicked Local — supporters say it’s the most sweeping municipal ban in the country. Somewhere, Henry David Thoreau is smiling. (This news will also make our own Casey Lyons very happy.)

If the attorney general’s office approves the law, it will go into effect on January 1, 2013.

Lead petitioner Jean Hill, 84, has championed this cause for years. In 2010, Concord’s town meeting passed the ban. The AG’s office rejected the bylaw a few months later, saying that the article “does not constitute a valid bylaw subject to the attorney general’s review and approval.” And, in 2011, fickle voters at Concord’s town meeting struck it down, 272-265.

Several college campuses — including Harvard, Brown, and the University of Vermont — have also banned or restricted bottle sales. Hill acknowledges that Concord’s decision is largely symbolic, but hopes that it will help fuel environmental change:

“I have this mental image of a stone being thrown into Walden Pond, and the circles that come out of it are other towns that follow us,” she recently told the Globe.

In other news: Last night’s water bottle back-and-forth postponed the vote on Concord’s cat leash law — a ban on unruly felines, if you will, that has local media purring. Stay tuned.