Following ballot vote results, four more United States cities will be imposing an additional tax on sugary drinks as the movement against calory ingestion seems to be gaining momentum.
The four cities to have approved a special tax on sugary drinks are Colorado-based Boulder, Oakland, San Francisco, and Albany.
The three cities situated in the San Francisco Bay Area will apply a penny-per-ounce special tax that will target sweetened tea, sports and energy drink, but will not affect sugary drinks such as naturally sweetened drinks or diet sodas.
The average voting consent throughout the cities was about 60 percent, with Albany bringing in a higher score.
The Boulder voters showed a similar degree of acceptance as the ballot measure passed with about 55 percent and will feature the introduction of a sugary beverages distribution tax.
The four new cities to have adopted a tax against such beverage will be joining Berkeley, which was the breakthrough in terms of such taxes, and Philadelphia, which passed similar additional fees this past summer.
California-based Berkley is the first city to have introduced an additional tax on sugary drinks after a number of previous other attempts were tried but either failed or did not gain traction.
The most probable cause of the previous failures is believed to be the implication of campaigns which were better funded by beverage associations and which supported such drinks.
The current sugary beverages ballot initiative and campaign featured Michael Bloomberg amongst its financial supporters. The former mayor of New York is also known to have tried limiting the size of the sugary beverages consumed in the Big Apple but ultimately failed.
As a result of the new votes, representatives of the beverage industry have declared on Wednesday that it respects the voters’ choice.
They also stated that their industry intends to remain focused on its collaboration with public health organizations and communities so as to change food and health behaviors.
As the new tax will be supported by the distributors and not on customers, the industry has made prior statements which condemned it as unfair as it induced the idea that such beverages helped obesity.
Sugary drinks big industry players such as Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo Inc. have already announced a series of new measures meant to reduce the added sugar intake.
Coca-Cola Co., the producer of Coca-Cola, Fanta, Sprite, and Powerade, does not consider the tax as being the best way to encourage a moderate sugary drinks consumption. One of the company’s proposed alternatives seems to be its new mini soda cans.
New York-based Pepsi Co Inc. has announced a rather more hands-on approach to the matter as it declared that by 2025, the company plans to change the added sugar levels of all its products.
As such, at least two-thirds of its available products should contain a 100 or less calories level by the proposed year.
With the ballot initiatives showing such promising results, its proponents are hoping that more and more local authorities will be joining in the quest for a smaller sugary drinks consumption.
Image Source: PublicDomainPictures