July 9th, 2009 at 07:53am
It’s actually a voluntary ban on the sale of bottled water, but lets not net that get in the way of a good dramatic headline.
The central New South Wales community of Bundanoon has voted overwhelmingly in favour of a ban on bottled water.
More than 350 people turned out at a public meeting at the town hall tonight to vote on the motion.
Only one local resident voted against the proposal, along with a representative from the bottled water industry.
Wait! 350 people? What do News Limited have to say about the attendance?
Local businessman and Bundy on Tap organiser Huw Kingston said almost 400 people turned up to the Bundanoon Memorial Hall
Uh huh, and this counts as “overwhelming support”? Must be a small town then:
Population: 2,035 (2006 census)
Less than a quarter of the town turns up to a meeting, and this is overwhelming support?
Anyway, I digress, continuing from the News Limited article:
The voluntary ban has been triggered by concerns about the carbon footprint associated with bottling and transporting the water.
Free water fountains will be installed in the NSW village, southwest of Sydney, to replace the bottled H2O.
“Carbon footprint”? *sigh*
In a double blow for the bottled water industry, NSW Premier Nathan Rees has signalled an end to idle chit-chat around the water cooler for NSW public servants.
Mr Rees today announced an immediate ban on all departments and agencies buying bottled water, including supplies for water coolers.
It was the first step in a government campaign to significantly reduce the consumption of bottled water in the community, Mr Rees said.
Australians spent about $500 million on bottled water in 2008, a 10 per cent increase on 2007.
“These plastic bottles are everywhere,” Mr Rees said.
I’m no fan of bottled water, in fact I rarely ever buy it, but I do like the fact that, if I need water in a place where I don’t have immediate access to safe drinking water from a tap, I can buy a bottle of safe, clean water. That less than a quarter of Bundanoon, or New South Wales disaster-in-chief Nathan Rees wants to ban me from buying water in a bottle, and instead insist that I have my own bottle which I can fill from a dubious communal water source, astounds me.
But if I continue reading the News Limited article, I’m not surprised by the chosen obligatory “expert”:
Environmental group Do Something! welcomed the government and Bundanoon bans, saying they could be the catalyst for change in the community.
“It’s all about common sense,” Do Something! director Jon Dee said.
“When you reduce the usage of bottled water you’re not just saving the environment, you’re also saving your wallet at the same time.
Mr Dee said it made no sense for people to pay twice as much for a litre of bottled water than for a litre of petrol.
Jon, it’s called choice. People choose to buy it despite knowing that there are other, cheaper, sources of water. It’s also called convenience. But, then again Jon, you are the idiot who was on Open House on Sunday night claiming that the planet is warming because people are wasting food.
“The bottled water industry has managed to convince people that bottled water is somehow pure or better for you than water you drink out of the tap,” he [Jon Dee] said.
See my point above Jon. In an age when we’re taught not to share the things we eat and drink from, for fear of catching nasty bugs etc, you expect me to trust a communal water source in the middle of town? One that’s been left outside for long enough for the drunk people to amuse themselves by targeting it with their various bodily functions? One you want me to share with a person who has a cold or worse?
It’s like the old bubblers all over again…and Jon, don’t try to tell me that people won’t try to drink directly from these water dispensaries, because we both know that they will.
And just in case you do happen to believe in the carbon footprint nonsense, Geoff Parker, director of the Australasian Bottled Water Institute has some facts and figures to (pun intended) pour cold water on the “bottled water is evil” line.
The environmental footprint of one bottle of water of locally produced water would be much smaller than a tin of canned tomatoes imported from overseas, some imported cheese, or French champagne, I think we need to keep it in perspective.
That we do Geoff, that we do.