Now this is what I want to see more of in the headlines. Residents of Concord, Massachusetts recently voted to ban sales of bottled water, making their city the first in the US to make such a decision. In an era of throwaway everything and patches of trash floating in the ocean, measures such as these will be serious catalysts to curbing our consumption and the waste that follows.
But the bottled water industry is not happy with that, of course. From Care2:
The International Bottled Water Association issued a statement threatening a “legal challenge” comparing bottled water to other products, such as cleaning supplies, food and other beverages. Their argument is that they shouldn’t be singled out for producing a wasteful product when everyone else is doing it too.
And while it’s absolutely true that bottled water is not the only wasteful product on the market, that reason alone is certainly not enough to justify its existence. There is absolutely no benefit to bottled water.
A bottled water ban: good reasons for it
A whopping 88 percent of plastic water bottles are not recycled, at the rate of 30 million a day, according to the Container Recycling Institute. The 60 million plastic bottles a day that the US manufactures cannot be redeemed for cash unlike other drink containers. Not only that, but producing and distributing bottled water uses up to 2,000 times the amount of energy used to produce tap water, an insane figure that simply is not sustainable, especially since the entire manufacturing process is hugely polluting, too, resulting in large greenhouse gas emissions.
The bottled water industry claims that consumers’ convenience simply cannot be denied, but that’s exactly what should be happening. It is too convenient to simply open up a bottle of water, drink it, and toss the bottle in the trash instead of having the foresight to bring your own water from home in recycled and reusable drinking containers.
Bottle water isn’t even good for us, either:
In March 1999, the Natural Resources Defense Council report, “Bottled Water, Pure Drink or Pure Hype?” revealed that as much as 40 percent of all bottled water comes from a city water system, just like tap water. Federal regulations also don’t require bottled water to be any better than tap water, and FDA standards don’t apply to water that’s bottled and sold in the same state.
Let’s hope that Concord’s ordinance holds up and is not taken down by the International Bottled Water Association. Bring on the ban!
Image credit: Flickr via Bob B. Brown