NEWS: Australian Town Bans Bottled Water

Dispatch from SSC Intern Emilia Pramova

Coming from a country where the tap water is considered to be of good quality, I’ve never been a big fan of bottled water. Many predict that bottled water will be the big business of the future (especially if we continue racing towards Peak Water) but some communities think otherwise!

The small Australian town of Bundanoon has become the first community in the world to ban the sale of bottled water, as Current reports. The vast majority of the residents, of this town southwest of Sydney, voted in favor of the ban this Wednesday night. Local businesses have agreed to stop selling bottled water and free water fountains will now be installed in the town.

The increasing concern over the environmental impact of bottling and transporting water triggered this massive voluntary boycott. Local businessman Huw Kingston, who led the campaign, declared that although bottled water plays an important role in various parts of Australia and the world, his small town doesn’t really need it, as the municipal water supply is of wonderful quality! The vote in Bundanoon prompted the premier of New South Wales state earlier this week to announce an immediate ban on state departments and agencies buying bottled water.

This is a great event towards sustainability! Although such a ban can only be achieved in countries where the tap water quality is high, I really hope that other communities will follow this example. Opponents of the idea suggest that the recycling of PET is not so bad for the environment - just 0.47 Mg CO2 emitted per Mg PET recycled. But what about transportation? Also many plastic bottles do not get recycled and end up in the landfill; some 85% of the PET bottles never get recycled in the US, according to the Container Recycling Institute. And if we consider the extraction of the raw materials, the toxicity of PET and the actual downcycling of it, bottled water does not sound like such a good idea!

Read the entire current article here.