The U.S. Conference of Mayors passed a resolution last week to phase out city spending on bottled water.
"Cities are sending the wrong message about the quality of public water when we spend taxpayer dollars on water in disposable containers from a private corporation," said San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, adding, "The fact is, our tap water is more highly regulated than what's in the bottle."
Millions of barrels of oil go into plastic-bottle manufacturing, and cities spend some $70 million annually on bottle disposal. Though the new resolution is not binding, it received strong support, and more than 60 mayors across the country have already canceled bottled-water contracts. The American Beverage Association is entirely unamused by the trend.
"We believe that common sense will prevail when mayors return to their communities," says the ABA's Kevin Keane, "as most recognize more pressing challenges are facing their communities than concerns about a healthy water beverage."