Crosby to BOS: Water Bottle Ban Would be Bad for Business, Health

Jim Crosby, owner of Crosby's Market, went before the Board of Selectmen Monday to express his reservations concerning the proposed Water Bottles Ban that will be voted on at Town Meeting.


One of Town Meeting's most debated warrant articles proposes a ban of single-serving bottled water. This tactic has seen sunlight before back in 2010 when a vote passed to for 2011.

In practice, the as state approval, and therefore the ban, was never issued. A with a vote of 265 to 272 at Town Meeting.

The ban is back on the table at this year's annual Town Meeting, and at least one man isn't happy about it.

Jim Crosby of on 211 Sudbury Road, went before the Board of Selectmen Monday night to speak out against the ban, claiming it would hurt his business and others.

“Those involved in selling bottled water, like myself, have good intentions," he said. "This ban could cause damage to local business in Concord.”

Crosby detailed that 30 percent of the bottled beverages he sells are either flavored or regular, single-serving water bottles, and the ban could lead to drying up these sales.

“The warrant attacks the supply side of my business and people will leave town for cases of water,” said Crosby. “I see it as a severe threat for delis, sub shops, convenience stores or what have you.”

Although the warrant article bans bottled water, it does list “emergency situations” as a time when the ban would be lifted, but Crosby expressed concern about this part of the article, relating that the language is “over-simplified.

"If the ban goes through, suppliers such as myself will not easily be able to get deliveries in town," Crosby said, estimating that it would take between one to three days to flood the town with bottled water in case of emergency.

Crosby also cited health concerns as a reason why the ban shouldn't be approved. Concord is a very active and health conscious community where people often engage in all types of physical activity around town, and banning bottled drinking water could cause consumers to veer towards buying more sugar-based drink, he said.

“I don't think we need this," Crosby concluded. "We recycle here in Concord and are a very responsible town, there is no need for [the article] and I hope the selectmen vote against it.”

Interim selectmen Chairwoman Carmin Reiss, filling in for regular Chair, Elise F. Woodward, asked Crosby if he was approached by anyone on behalf of the bottled water industry such as a representatives from Nestle, Coke or Pepsi.

Crosby explained that he is aware of the power the bottled water companies possess and their feelings on the issue, but stated he has no dealings with such companies aside from deliveries and speaks only for himself and his business.

The Selectmen expressed no other thoughts at Monday's meeting about how they will side on this issue. The time for debate concerning the ban is quickly closing as Town Meeting begins April 23.

x March 28, 2012 at 07:59 PM
Why not ban the sale of bottle water completely in Concord? Think what this could do for 'community values'? If banning single serving is good, banning multi-servings must be even better. Reverend E. Raleigh Pimperton III
Mary White March 28, 2012 at 10:10 PM
When I was growing up there was no such thing as bottled water except for a few small mineral water bottlers who used glass bottles. We did fine and played sports in hot weather - I grew up in Georgia. Now the water industry is the third largest industry in the world only behind electricity and oil. Water resources are being privatized at an alarming rate. Every dollar we spend for bottled water pays for this industry to take over the water resources of another community. Once they control the majority of water resources who will make sure all have access to clean water? Who will help conserve this precious resource that all of life depends upon? Who will protect the sources of our water? Already folks in the global south are facing this reality as are towns near us in New England. Poland Springs is a dirty word in Maine. Water needs to stay in the public trust. It is part of our inherited commons.
x March 28, 2012 at 10:39 PM
Using your logic Mary we should eliminate antibiotic sales. There weren't many of them around when you were a kid, and the pharmaceutical companies have grown into enormous cartels - hated by some. This proposal means less water would be sold in Concord. Tell me how selling less water in Concord on a hot summer day boosts our community values and improves public health. Reverend E. Raleigh Pimperton III
Josie Haywood April 01, 2012 at 07:15 AM
As a dear engineering friend often says to me “the biggest problems are created by solutions”. This often becomes the case because people fail to think a problem through from beginning to end, before finalizing their solution plan. The problem that was to be addressed here is plastic bottles being improperly discarded and ending up in our water, on or lawns, etc. The solution recommended was to ban the sale of single water bottles in Concord. My analysis: 1. I never see these huge crowds who are in the stores purchasing single bottles of water. They often pull these bottles out of the sh0ulder bags 2. Local youth can’t be blamed when they prefer sweeter drinks 3. We often sit in the center or at the park and people watch and we see too many visitors with their children, who discard of their bottles anywhere, including the youth tossing them in the water 4. I see McDonald’s containers and soda cans that have been tossed out of car windows and Concord doesn’t even have a McDonald’s So, will deciding to stop selling single plastic bottles of water solve the problem….NO! Because the bottles will continue to brought to Concord and disposed of as they have been all along. Thus, that only leaves an option on the table of penalizing folk who are caught improperly discarding their bottles, in this town. How will that happen, with the limited policing resources we have here already?
Berni Jenkins April 03, 2012 at 03:18 PM
Until people decide to purchase and use reusable bottles filled with tap water, filtered or not, a ban on the sale of plastic single serve water bottles in Concord will be ineffective. Many institutions have restricted the sale of plastic water bottles on their campuses. The Concord Public Schools have made major progress in changing the availabilty of bottled water at sports events, school plays and events and availability within the schools. It is just as easy to carry a reusable, refillable bottle as it is a disposable bottle. It needs to be "cool" to carry your own bottle - and perhaps embarrassing to be seen with any other kind of bottle. This calls for a behavior change - a shift in the culture - not a ban. Berni Jenkins


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