In the town known for the shot heard round the world, a recent town meeting narrowly defeated a measure that would have banned the sale of single-use water bottles.
Concord, Mass., is a historic town where the first battle of the Revolutionary War started. It recently has been a battleground for what is believed would have been the first U.S. water-bottle ban.
The vote was very close, so the town is obviously divided on the issue. I do not know if the petitioner [or other concerned citizens] may try again next year, Jeff Wieand, a member of the Concord Board of Selectmen, said in an email. Town meeting is an exhausting experience, and I'm sure advocates of the ban will want to take some time to consider their options.
The bill was defeated April 26 by a 272-265 vote. Later, however, a measure was approved that would require citizens, including students, to be educated about the environmental issues surrounding bottled water.
I'm coming back next year. I'm 83 and I'm tough. I don't give up, said Jean Hill, who filed the petition to ban the water bottles.
She said the bill actually came up too late in the town meeting, about 11 p.m. and some members had gone home and weren't able to vote for it.
Banning the sale of single-use water bottles was actually approved last year in Concord, but later the measure was deemed unenforceable by the state attorney general.
Hill said the 2011 bill was offered as bylaw that would have prohibited stores from selling water in PET bottles that were 1 liter or smaller. The penalty would have been non-criminal. The fines would have reverted to the town.
Joe Doss, president and CEO of the International Bottled Water Association, said in a news release, It is good to see common sense and reasonable public policies prevail in the defeat of this unnecessary and over-reaching measure.
Wieand said the selectmen are considering how to implement the intent of the education article and will review remarks made at town meeting.