Thirsty, hung-over residents of Concord, Massachusetts, looking for a bottle of water were out of luck on New Year's Day. A ban on single-serving plastic water bottles took effect on January 1, part of an effort to reduce waste and encourage tap-water consumption.
Businesses caught selling bottles one liter or smaller will receive a warning. The second infraction draws a fine of $25, and subsequent violations carry a price tag of $50. Six-packs and cases of bottled water are also banned, although there are exceptions for emergencies.
Mike Abboud, the manager of a convenience store in Acton, about a mile from the edge of Concord, told The Boston Globe he has seen an uptick in bottled water purchases, despite chilly winter weather. "We know there's been an increase in people buying more water," he said. "They're going to get it anyway. You ban it in Concord, they'll come to Acton."
Activists have been trying to pass the measure in town meetings since 2010. The ban finally triumphed last spring by a vote of 403 to 364.