Mass. Town Bans Bottled Water; Cats Still Free to Roam

They managed to hold it off last year — partially due to an impassioned plea from resident and longtime beverage entrepreneur Tom First — but that quirky town of Concord, Mass., finally passed a ban on the sale of single-serving plastic water bottles at its Town Meeting last night.

It was the fourth year in a row the town has voted on some form of bottled water ban or another — the one that passed last night (403 to 364, if you’re counting) would make it a $50 fine for any merchant to sell a bottle of water of one liter or less.

The bill doesn’t go into effect until Jan. 1 — and that’s pending approval of the state Attorney General, but for now bottled water opponents claim they have passed a first-in-the-nation municipal law.

Another potentially groundbreaking Concord regulation — one forcing cats to be kept on leashes while outside — was not voted on due to the length of the bottled water debate.