The Downtown Farmers Market in Salt Lake City has instituted a ban on the sale of beverages packaged in plastic containers. According to Market Manager, Alison Einerson, “As part of an ongoing commitment to environmental responsibility, we have implemented a WasteWise Program. What this means is that we do everything we can to reduce waste at our market, and we educate our patrons about how to make sustainability a priority in their daily lives.”
Bans on single-use plastic water bottles are gaining popularity throughout the country with initiatives in effect in 14 national parks and a number of college campuses. San Francisco is leading the way on a city level with a ban on the sale of plastic water bottles in public spaces, food trucks and events. This movement is in response to significant environmental impacts caused by single-use plastic products. Cheap and durable, plastic is a popular consumer and industrial product. However, much of it is not recycled, and plastic is not biodegradable. One startling consequence is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a micro-plastic island the size of Texas swirling in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. While plastic bottles are not the single contributor, it is argued they are unnecessary and easily replaced with reusable containers.
To support the Downtown Farmers Market in their mission, management suggests bringing reusable bags, containers and bottles while shopping. The Market will provide ample free water stations for refills. If you forget, you can buy a stainless steel bottle there for $3.
While Salt Lake City has yet to consider a ban on bottled water, Mayor Biskupski has demonstrated a commitment to environmental issues, elevating the Sustainability Division to full department level. Could a ban on plastic bottles be the future for Salt Lake City? Let us know your thoughts.