October 8, 2009

Again With the Bottled-Water Wars

If you want to buy a bottle of water, you won’t find it in Bundadoon.

Residents of the small town in southern Australia voted in late September to ban bottled water and set up high-tech, filtered water stations throughout town, where people can have a free drink.

For those who can’t break the bottle habit, chilled filtered water in ‘bundy-on-tap’ reusable bottles can be purchased in stores, Kazakhstan News Net reported.

While Bundadoon may be the world’s first “bottle-free zone,” the move away from the sale of bottled water has achieved a steady flow.

In London, the government will install water stations this month at heavily trafficked bus and rail stations, reports the Guardian. A small fee will be charged to refill half-liter water bottles with the proceeds going to a nonprofit, Waste Watch, which works “to change the way people use the world’s natural resources,” and campaigns against bottled water.

In the United States, a number of cities are also reducing bottled-water purchases.

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order to stop buying bottled water with city funds — and the mayors of Seattle and Salt Lake City are following suit, the Sarasota Herald Tribune reported.

Similar action has been taken in other California cities and counties, including Davis, Sacramento, San Jose, and Sonoma County, notes the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat.

Although community pressure and state scrutiny recently derailed a plan by Nestle Waters North America to open a bottling plant drawing from the McCloud River in Northern California, the company has since submitted plans to open a similar plant in the California capital, the Sacramento Press reported.

State attorney general and potential California gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown, who opposed the McCloud River project, has been asked to review the new proposal.

The battle of the bottle has multiple fronts, including the environmental impact of all the plastic trash, and non-disclosure of water sources and any contaminants it may contain.

Nearly nine out of ten plastic bottles end up as garbage, or about 1,500 bottles per second, according to the Container Recycling Institute.

In the United States alone, packaging and transporting bottled water uses about 50 million barrels of oil a year, reported the Nevada Appeal.

In a two-hour walk along Boston’s Charles River in October, a Boston Globe columnist said he picked up 112 discarded water bottles, and noted that Americans buy and discard three billion plastic bottles of water each year.

In Washington, Congress held hearings recently — with no conclusions reached — on the regulation of bottled water, while a General Accountability Office study found that the Food and Drug Administration’s regulation of bottled water was less stringent that the Environmental Protection Agency’s oversight of tap water.

–Ronnie Lovler/Newsdesk.org

Sources:

“Bottled water foes may join forces; AG to consider review”
Sacramento Press, October 4, 2009

“Message in a bottle, what a waste”
Boston Globe, October 7, 2009

“Nestle officially withdraws McCloud proposal”
Siskiyou Daily News, September 11, 2009

“California may Sue Nestle over Water Plan”
Newsdesk.org, July 29, 2009

“London’s new drinking fountains a challenge to bottled water industry”
The Guardian, October 4, 2009

“Bottled water a banned substance in Bundadoon”
Kazakhstan News Net, September 26, 2009

“The Harsh Reality of Bottled Water”
Sarasota Herald Tribune, September 30, 2009

“Bottled vs. Tap Water”
Waste Watch

“Supervisors ban bottled water for county workers”
Press Democrat, October 1, 2009

“Bottled Water is not green”
The Nevada Appeal, September 12 2009

3 thoughts on “Again With the Bottled-Water Wars

  1. I am very happy to hear this campaign against bottled – water purchases.

    Health is wealth.

  2. Banning water bottles would probably get rid of water bottles once and for all.

    Yet, the truth of the matter is that it’s not going to happen any time soon. Most humans beings like the convenience of the modern world. The average person throws trash away because then they don’t have to deal with it anymore. We like quick pick up and quick disposal anytime and anywhere. As well as healthy disposable bottles may pervent germs from spreading.

    Also, it’s a nice backup for when your water is turned off or in case of a storm.

    There are always two sides to a story.