In a precedent-setting vote by Ketchum officials, the sale and distribution of water bottled in single-use containers is now banned on any city property at city events. In its vote to pass the new ban, the Ketchum City Council also announced that "packaging products in plastic bags and foam containers also is discouraged."
"The ban is part of Ketchum's efforts to set an example as an ecologically sensitive community," said Ketchum Mayor Nina Jonas. "Water from the tap is safe, tastes great, and comes from local sources."
Ketchum officials pointed to research that indicates the production of plastic water bottles in the U.S. creates 2.5 million tons of carbon dioxide. Additionally, the number of water bottles used in the U.S. each year could encircle the earth 150 times if laid end to end. But only one in five plastic water bottles is recycled, according to the research.
"As a society, we are needlessly spending money on bottled water that often is lower quality than tap water," said Jonas. "We then put the bottles, made of billions of pounds of oil-based plastic, into the landfill."
Ketchum officials said the city would soon buy and install more hydration stations, encouraging more people to fill their own water containers at public events and city meetings.