ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) has issued a statement regarding legislation being heard by the San Francisco Land Use and Economic Development Committee today, according to a press release.

The legislation would ban the sale or distribution of bottled water in plastic bottles of 21 fluid ounces or less on city and county property, including parks, concerts, large public events and mobile food trucks, noted the release.

 “The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) opposes this bill and supports the right of San Franciscans to choose clean, safe, healthy, refreshing, reliable and zero-calorie bottled water when making their beverage decisions. Efforts to eliminate access to bottled water on San Francisco city or county property will force people to choose less healthy drink options, which have more packaging, more additives (e.g., sugar, caffeine) and greater environmental impacts than bottled water. Moreover, this legislation would mean that there would be no bottled water available on city or county property for immune compromised people or during emergency situations when tap water is compromised," the statement said.

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Since 1998, approximately 73 percent of the growth in bottled water consumption has come from people switching from carbonated soft drinks, juices and milk to bottled water, continued the release, while research shows that if bottled water isn't available, 63 percent of people will choose soda or another sugared drink, not tap water.

According to the release, banning access to bottled water directly impacts the right of people to choose the healthiest beverage on the shelf, and the IBWA expects that restricting access to bottled water in San Francisco will cause consumers to choose soda or other sugared drinks, especially at events where consumers are seeking convenience, reliability and portability.