NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Cooling off at a New York City park or beach may soon be B.Y.O.B.
Two New York City Council members are proposing to ban the sale of single use water bottles at parks, beaches and other city owned properties. A further measure would ban the sale of any drink that comes in a plastic bottle, including juice and soda.
People would still be allowed to bring their own plastic bottles to those places, but wouldn’t be allowed to buy them there.
The measure would also provide for filling stations at parks and beaches, so people could fill up reusable bottles at those locations.
The measure is backed by Council members Ben Kallos and Rafael Espinal.
As CBS2’s Political Reporter Marcia Kramer reported, Kallos wants to start by stopping the sale of bottled water at city parks, beaches, golf courses, skating rinks, etc. Espinal would like to extend it to anything in a plastic bottle, like juice, soda, tea, etc.
“It would actually help and make a dent in the one billion plastic bottles that New York City throws away every year,” Kallos said.
“There are studies that show that if we don’t stop the current trend of the amount of plastic we’re using, we’re going to have more plastic than fish in our ocean,” said Espinal.
It’s a controversial proposal, Kramer reported. The International Bottled Water Association worries about dehydration.
“People frequenting parks, beaches and golf courses usually are engaged in physical activity and in summer months during extreme heat, increasing their needs for constant re-hydration. Restricting or banning the sale of bottled water is not in the public interest,” a spokesperson said.
Vendors have other concerns.
“We are selling lot of water. If city try to stop selling water in the Central Park, maybe we lose our job,” said one in Central Park.
While Mayor Bill de Blasio brings a reusable water bottle to all his press conferences, the bottle ban is not his No. 1 environmental concern right now.
“We are focused on banning plastic bags, which are not recyclable, unlike plastic water bottles that are,” a spokesperson said.
The measure is part of a broader move against plastic waste.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently proposed legislation banning most single use plastic grocery bags in New York.
Last year, the City Council considered a 5 cent fee on plastic bags at grocery stores, but Cuomo killed the measure, calling it “deeply flawed.”