The views of the Mayor of San Francisco and Professor Tim Lang are laudable, but a move to ban bottled water is naïve and far more 'nonsensical' than bottling it in the first place ('The true cost of bottling water', The Grocer, 14 July, p23). A ban solves nothing, tries to solve the wrong problem, helps reverse a healthy consumer trend, is anti-competitive, creates a legislative nightmare and strikes at the heart of consumer freedom. What will consumers will do when confronted with no bottled water in their food store, restaurant or take-away? They will buy something else: a fizzy drink, juice, energy drink, beer, wine, etc, many of which will be packaged in the demon plastic bottle. Dissuading anyone from drinking pure, calorie-free water is total insanity and a retrograde step. Health and wellness is one of the key drivers of consumption, not 'chic'. Is Mayor Newsom also going to ban PET bottles of soft drinks, juices, teas and the like? A logical next step. But before he does, he'd better lay down pipelines from the Coke and Pepsi factories direct to consumers' homes. Only then would we have a level playing field for bottlers of all beverage types.And what of 'near waters' that are flavoured or fortified? Should they be banned, too? Regardless of the (non)sense of the ban, shouldn't the customer have the right to choose if he or she wants to pay for water or not? Are we also going to force consumers to buy organic meat, vegetables and eggs too by banning any foodstuff or feedstock sprayed with artificial fertiliser? However well-meaning such decisions might be, they smack of totalitarianism or communism and are unworkable.