TORONTO, Ont. -- If you're visiting here and have a thirst for a cold bottle of water, you might have more difficulty finding one than in many other towns.
The city has decided to outlaw the sale of bottled water in all municipal buildings, including local arenas.
While banning bottled water, the city did not ban any other bottled beverage.
The ban was approved in December by City Council, with the target of stopping such sales for all municipal premises from City Hall to golf courses by 2011.
Mayor David Miller's spokesman, Stuart Green, said the ban is part of the city's plan to divert 70% of its waste from municipal dumps by 2010.
Not only is the city eliminating sales of the plastic bottles, it also is instituting the following steps:
• A five-cent charge for every plastic bag customers use from a grocery or retail store, starting in June.
• A ban on biodegradable and compostable plastic bags.
• A ban on retail bags with rope handles or metal grommets by the end of next year.
• A request that retailers also provide shoppers with alternatives to having the pay for a plastic bag, whether by providing cardboard boxes or paper sacks for shoppers.
According to the Polaris Institute, 17 municipalities from five Canadian provinces have banned the plastic bottles, while another 45 municipalities are planning restrictions on bottled water.
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