Chicago, IL, Institutes Bottled Water Taxby Rena Ragimova
In January 2008, the City of Chicago instituted a 5 cent tax on each bottle of water sold, making Chicago the first major U.S. city to institute such a surcharge.
Reducing or banning the purchase and consumption of bottled water reduces waste, saves money, and lowers greenhouse gas emissions. Plastic bottles are made from petroleum and require energy to produce (which in turn produces greenhouse gases). Also, they are often thrown in the trash, rather than recycled. Transporting all those bottles to landfills via trucks is expensive, and produces greenhouse gases. When a city and its resides reduces bottled water consumption, it means less trash to transport and fill up landfills, and fewer greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, using tap water is much cheaper than buying bottled water. Municipal tap water is safe and is typically more closely monitored than bottled water.
City of Chicago officials estimate the tax will secure an extra $10.5 million annually.