Plastic water bottle

Effective January 1, 2013, the town of Concord, Massachusetts, has banned the sale of dsiposable plastic water bottles, reports Treehugger.

While it’s not exactly a criminal offense—markets and restaurants will only be fined $50 for violating the ban (except in cases of emergency)—the town is hopeful that it will decrease landfill waste and reduce Concord’s contribution to environmental pollution as well.

Just 20 miles northwest of Boston, the town’s ban went into effect after an 82-year old activist began to rally support for the cause from city officials and members of the community back in 2010. Jean Hill reportedly made her case to Concord residents by citing the many consequences of plastic bottles including the damaging effects to marine life as well as the environment.

Treehugger reports that the campaign, Ban The Bottle, cites 17 million barrels of oil—enough to power 1.3 million cars for an entire year—are needed to make all of the plastic bottles used in the U.S. per year. In 2007, that number was more than 50 billion single serve bottles, with fewer than 25 percent being recycled.

Single-serve bottle awareness is on the rise around the country, though. Several college campuses have banned or restricted bottle use, setting up free water bottle refill stations on campus–even despite serious push back efforts from the industry.

Concord citizens can expect big savings, too. Instead of spending nearly $1500 per year on bottled water to get the recommended eight-glass servings per day, residents that rely on the town’s tap water will spend less than one dollar—for an entire year’s worth of water.

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Image: Jesse Wagstaff