CONCORD (CBS) — Residents have voted to ban the sale of single-serve plastic water bottles in Concord.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Karen Twomey reports

If the law sticks, the town will become the first place in the country with such a ban, starting on Jan. 1. It’s not official yet, as the state attorney general still needs to give the green light.

Concord survived the Revolutionary War and residents there told WBZ-TV on Thursday that they’ll get over the bottled water war as well, even if the issue did divide the town meeting right down the middle.

The ban passed by only 39 votes out of nearly 800 cast (403-364), and on Thursday, some were skeptical of the ban’s true motive and potential impact.

At Wednesday night’s Concord town meeting, the battle over plastic water bottles took on grand political and philosophical dimensions. But, despite Wednesday night’s debate and months worth preceding it, many in- and out-of-towners are still wondering – why have the ban?

“I think it’s kind of crazy. It should be up to people’s choice…if you’re gonna ban that, why not ban Gatorade or everything else that comes in a plastic bottle?” said one resident.

“That was a question that was raised by some physicians in town. Do we really wanna encourage some kids to drink soda and sugary drinks rather than water?” said Christopher Whelan, the Concord town manager.

After all, Gatorade and soda also come in plastic bottles, produced by many of the same corporations that peddle bottled water.

One supporter, however, argued at the town meeting Wednesday that consumers can still get water other ways, by just going “to a water fountain.”

Businesses in Concord could be affected, though.

“We did hear from business folks that they’re concerned they may lose some business,” added Whelan.

It’s not hard to see why store owners are worried. If anyone wanted to buy a bottled water, all they have to do head to a neighboring town.

“Maybe it’s just something in the water in Concord,” said a resident.

Supporters of the ban have been pretty clear that this is a symbolic gesture designed to promote environmentalism.

Most of the critics said they supported that goal, but would prefer to make their own political decisions at the store.


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