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SLO City Council to review ways to regulate plastic water bottles

The San Luis Obispo City Council will hold a study session Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2016, to review how other communities have regulated the use of plastic water bottles.
The San Luis Obispo City Council will hold a study session Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2016, to review how other communities have regulated the use of plastic water bottles. Los Angeles Times/TNS

The San Luis Obispo City Council will hold a study session Tuesday to review how other communities have regulated the use of plastic water bottles.

The council had previously directed city staff to conduct research on communities, including San Francisco, that have regulated water bottle usage and added water bottle filling stations.

“In San Luis Obispo, more than 13 million bottles were purchased by the public in fiscal year 2015-16, according to an estimate from CalRecycle, and only 41 percent were recycled, suggesting that a large number of bottles end up as litter or in the landfill,” city staff said in a statement. “In California, according to CalRecycle, 3 billion plastic bottles end up as litter or in landfills yearly.”

The study session will help the council provide specific policy direction to staff so that additional public outreach can occur and so staff can draft regulations and complete environmental review, depending on the scope of the project.

In 2014, San Francisco restricted the sale of bottled water on city and county property (including facilities, parks, streets, sidewalks). San Francisco then increased the availability of drinking water in public areas by adding drinking fountains and water bottle filling stations, according to San Luis Obispo city staff.

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