San Francisco Considers Refillable Water Bottle-Filling Station Law To Reduce Plastic Water Bottle Use

San Francisco is considering a plastic water bottle reduction related law does not ultimately ban water bottles but aims at drastically reducing the need for the disposable plastic bottles in the city. San Francisco previously banned plastic “Happy Meal” style toys and plastic grocery bags. The new plastic water bottle city ordinance would mandate that all new and renovated buildings in San Francisco be equipped with specialized water bottle-filling taps instead of traditional water fountains, if approved. City officials believe the new bottle tap stations would “encourage” people to refill reusable water bottles instead of adding more plastic water bottles to the landfill, Deseret News reports. Most plastic water bottles are recyclable.

“This is the appropriate next step to make it easier for San Franciscans to get out of the bad habit of using environmentally wasteful plastic water bottles and into the good habit of using reusable water containers,” Board of Supervisors President David Chiu, told Deseret News.

The new bottle-filling taps are already installed at many San Francisco public schools, municipal parks and at the San Francisco International Airport. The earth-friendly machines work on the same premise as coffee machines. A user simply places a reusable water bottle beneath the tap to garner a chilled stream of water. The machines are also expected to appeal to San Franciscans who already use refillable water bottle by offering a quicker way to fill their water bottles and to reduce fears of germs often associated with common water fountains, the Washington Post reports.

“If you are in an office, your kitchen has a sink, the sink has a faucet and that faucet puts out Hetch Hetchy (reservoir) water. It’s just one more new law that San Francisco is implementing on top of hundreds of other laws to make, rather force, compliance in sustainable practices,” law skeptic San Francisco Building Owners and Managers Association representative Ken Cleaveland told Deseret News.


The new water bottle-filling stations under consideration in San Francisco cost approximately $750 each. Most public buildings and private offices offer recycling drops for plastic water bottles.