Bottled Water Update: Bundy on Tap campaign
What began as a boycott against a Sydney based bottling company that sought out permission to extract large quantity of water from the local aquifer has become global news as a small Australian tourist town, Bundanoon is the "first town in the world to stop all sales of bottled water."
Congress recently held a debate upon the subject whether or not bottled water is safer to drink than tap water.
Huw Kingston, leader of the "Bundy on Tap" campaign formed a community meeting to see how many people would approve of banning water bottles in order to reduce trucks and extraction plants from being implemented in their town. The decision to ban water bottles was made clear when only 1 out of 356 community citizens who attended the meeting opposed the ban against water bottles. Shortly after the meeting, the state government of New South Wales announced they will also stop buying bottled water.
There are a few skeptics out there who wonder if the local town can afford to maintain the water fountains and filtered water dispensers distributed around town. In addition, if water bottles are kept off the shelves, should the same be done for sweetened drinks, such as Coke? Trenton Fenton, a former resident of Bundanoon requests the town council remove soft drinks from the shelves, "but they’d never do that."
The water bottle industry currently makes a profit of $60 billion world wide and around $400 million a year in Australia. According to Geoff Parker, chief executive of Australasian Bottled Water Institute, water bottles are recyclable and take up a small amount of space in the local landfill. Rather than focusing on water bottles, we ought to look at the bigger picture. Mr. Parker claims, "There are tens of thousands of products in the fast-moving consumer goods sector, and we would suggest that there are a vast number that would have a larger carbon footprint than bottled water."
It is amazing to see how a small community can have such a huge impact on a country as large as Australia.
Could this grassroots model serve as an inspiration for greening other consumer habits?
What are your thoughts upon banning water bottles? Are we singling out the water bottle company? Looking from an environmentalist's point of view, perhaps this we are making small steady steps towards the overall goal of reducing our carbon footprint.