L.A. to create laws banning sales of plastic water bottles on city property, including at LAX

The Los Angeles City Council voted Wednesday to start working on laws to ban the sale of single-use plastic water bottles on city property.

The City Council instructed several city departments to come up with recommendations on how to ban the sale of single-use plastic bottles within city facilities and at city-sponsored and permitted events. It also asked for a report identifying water sites and possible modifications to event permitting and vendor contracts.

City Councilman Paul Krekorian said he wants to phase out single-use plastics due to their negative affects on the environment and that companies are monetizing something that should be a human right.

"When we look at this challenge globally and see that there are 2 billion people across the face of the earth who don't have reliable sources of drinking water, you can imagine how much that contributes to global instability, global health," Krekorian said during a discussion at City Hall.

The city is using the same amount of water it used in the 1970s, but since then it has added about 1 million residents, Krekoiran said.

"That's because of concerted efforts (and) continuous diligence in this area," Krekorian said. "Shame on us as a society that we're allowing people to become multimillionaires and billion-dollar companies to make money off of this natural resource that belongs to all of us, when they're providing it to us in the most environmentally damaging means possible by these single-use plastic water bottles."

Mayor Eric Garcetti said Los Angeles International Airport and other large city facilities would be added to the ban on selling plastic single-use bottles.

"These initiatives work, and in six years we know they work not only for our environment but they've worked for the people who inhabit it," Garcetti said.

Krekorian also mentioned the costs associated with plastic single-use water bottles.

"Your tap water is 3,000 times cheaper than the water you're drinking out of that plastic bottle," he said.

The city council recently adopted a resolution, signifying its commitment to make Los Angeles a "Blue City" and identify water as a "fundamental human right" regardless of socioeconomic status.

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is installing and refurbishing 200 public drinking stations, which will be completed by 2022, Krekorian said.

The project to expand and clean up tap-water stations throughout the city's parks and recreation areas is intended to facilitate public water accessibility, as part of the city's Green New Deal, and to prepare for the 2028 Olympic Games, city officials said.