Well...*part* of Italy has banned plastic water bottles - the Cinque Terre (Five Lands) scenic region on the country's northwest coastline. Cinque Terre is recognized on the Unesco World Heritage list of environmental and cultural conservation sites, and the Italians want to keep it that way.
They say that tourists leave behind THOUSANDS of plastic water bottles that topple from the steep terrain and end up on their limited beach space (....and most certainly contribute to the yet-to-be quantified Mediterranean Garbage Gyre) - so the have banned plastic water bottles from the region and have gone so far as to offer low cost one litre metal bottles for just one Euro - complete with the Cinque Terre National Park logo. Nice!
If you've ever actually been to Italy (well, at least the southern part), you may ask "Oh, they finally noticed the trash that is strewn everywhere without regard to aesthetics or environmental health?"...but the Italians estimate that in August alone (when ALL Europeans go on holiday...usually to the warm beaches of Italy), the CT area is trashed by as many as 400,000 (400,000!!!) carelessly discarded plastic water bottles. That's a lot of frikkin' bottles by anyone's count.
Nice move - setting the pace for the rest of the world's special areas! Read more about the savvy move in the UK Telegraph.
We say, MOLTO BENE...THAT'sss AMORAAAAAAAY!