Target: Jean Hill of Concord, Massachusetts
Goal: Praise town for cutting down on plastic waste
The town of Concord, Massachusetts has made a bold and drastic decision to help reduce its environmental footprint and begin eliminating plastic waste—it has made bottled water illegal. The law, effective since the start of 2013, outlaws all single-serving plastic water bottles and forbids retailers from selling them. Sparkling beverages and other bottled soft drinks have not been banned.
84-year-old Concord resident Jean Hill spearheaded the movement. Hill was unsettled by the amount of money that individuals were willing to lay down just to buy the same product that they got for a fraction of the price out of the tap. Furthermore, Hill saw how quickly plastic, disposable water bottles went from being beverage containers to mere detritus in the world’s landfills.
The United States is currently the world’s biggest consumer of bottled water. Americans use 9.1 billion gallons of bottled water every year, equaling 21 gallons per capita. It is not uncommon for bottled water to be sold for upwards of $3 for a single serving bottle. A comparable volume of tap water costs about a penny. In tough financial times it is ridiculous for cash-strapped consumers to shell out so much money for the same product they can get for pennies a day. Concord’s new law will help to defend the financial well-being of its residents.
Bottled water is also not at all beneficial to the environment. It depletes aquifers and groundwater stores but more importantly the waste that bottled water begets taints nature areas and chokes dumps and landfills. Plastics are of course recyclable but too often are simply thrown in the garbage and taken to a landfill, where it will take centuries for the bottle to decompose.
In spite of (or because of) their ubiquitous prevalence, plastic bottles have developed into a consumer and environmental nightmare, depleting our bank accounts while they deplete the environment. Concord’s decision is a true win-win situation, helping both its residents and the ecosystem. Take a second to thank the town and to thank Jean Hill.
Dear Ms. Hill,
I’m writing today to thank you for the instrumental role you have played in the Concord, Massachusetts bottled water ban. After years of struggle and activism you truly have cause to be proud. You have won a victory in the fight for both environmental reform and consumer protection. Although this may be a small victory on a national or global scale, it sets a phenomenal precedent that other municipalities across America and across the globe would do well to take heed of.
Concord’s decision to ban single serving water bottles will yield massive dividends for the town. There will be less litter around town and fewer non-biodegradable water bottles clogging landfills. Concord residents will no longer be swindled out of their hard-earned money, paying exorbitant sums of cash for something they can get out of their taps for pennies.
Your stalwart commitment to this cause brought about an unprecedented change, one that will hopefully affect our entire nation. You have improved the quality of life for your neighbors and once again proved that one person can make a difference. Thank you for everything, Ms. Hill.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: stevendepolo via flickr