Concord approves bottle ban by narrow vote
CONCORD, Mass. (WHDH) -- A bottle battle brewing for weeks in concord came to an end Wednesday as residents voted to ban the sale of single serving plastic water bottles.
The bill still needs to go to the Attorney General for review, but if it holds up, Concord would be the first individual town in the nation to have such a ban.
The water bottle ban was passed in a very close vote Wednesday night. The bill would actually levy fines on venders that sell bottled water of one liter or less.
More than 750 residents turned out for the vote, with the bill passing by fewer than forty votes.
This is the third straight year the issue has come up for debate, and passions ran high on both sides.
"This reminds me of a communist country where dictators dictate to the masses what they're allowed to buy," one woman said.
"Clean, safe water is just a small sacrifice,” another countered. “We're not gonna solve all the problems of the world but this is our one chance to make a really huge statement to the world."
Supporters of the ban say bottled water creates unnecessary waste that is harmful to the environment.
Opponents say the ban will hurt local businesses and doesn't address other bottled drinks.
The ban would take effect in January of next year.
Meanwhile, a proposal to expand the state's recycling law got bottled up on Beacon Hill on Wednesday. House lawmakers rejected a bill to make water, sports drink and juice containers part of the existing law.
Supporters thought offering a five cent redemption on the bottles would promote more recycling, but leaders decided to devote their time to other environmental amendments.