Archive for the 'bottled water' Category

Mexico City bets on tap water law to change habit

Photo retrieved from: www.apnews.com

“It’s a suggestion alien to Mexico City residents who have long shunned tap water in favor of the bottled kind and to the throngs of tourists who visit the city each year, bringing with them fears of “Montezuma’s Revenge.” But a law recently approved by Mexico City’s legislators will require all restaurants to install filters so they can offer patrons free, drinkable water that won’t lead to stomach problems and other ailments.

“We need to create a culture of water consumption,” said Dr. Jose Armando Ahued, health secretary for Mexico City. “We need to accept our water.”

Bad tap water accounts in part for Mexico being the world’s top consumer of bottled water and – worse – soda, some 43 gallons per person a year.

With an obesity epidemic nationwide, the city’s health department decided to back the water initiative.”

Read more: AP News

 

In the ‘Wild West’ of Water, Nestlé Gets Free Pass to Bottle the Commons

Photo retrieved from: www.commondreams.org

“International food giant Nestlé is striking gold in British Columbia—dubbed the ‘Wild West’ of water regulation—extracting hundreds of millions of liters of fresh groundwater each year without paying a cent.

As the only province in Canada that doesn’t regulate groundwater use, B.C. residents are calling on the provincial government to update the century-old Water Act saying that, without doing so, B.C. is ripe for such abuse. “The province does not license groundwater, charge a rental for groundwater withdrawals or track how much bottled water companies are taking from wells,” said a Ministry of Environment spokesperson.

“It’s really the Wild West out here in terms of groundwater,” added Linda Nowlan, conservation director from World Wildlife Fund Canada.

Any measurements or documentation of groundwater extraction are undergone on a “voluntary” basis by the corporation. According to Canadian paper The Province, Nestlé is extracting 265 million liters (or roughly 70 million gallons) of water each year from one well alone.

“It’s unsettling,” said WaterWealth Project campaign director Sheila Muxlow. “What’s going to happen in the long term if Nestlé keeps taking and taking and taking?”

“We have water that’s so clean and so pure, it’s amazing. And then they take it and sell it back to us in plastic bottles,” adds Sharlene Harrison-Hinds, a resident of Hope, B.C. which relies on the same aquifer being tapped by Nestlé.”

Read more: Common Dreams

 

Free Market Economics Are Failing World’s Dwindling Water Resources

Photo retrieved from: www.alternet.org

“Growing water shortages in many countries are a major threat to global security and development and should be a top priority at the U.N. Security Council, a panel of experts said in a  new report .

However, that report ignores the biggest threat to water security: neoliberal policies of the free market economic system laying waste to the natural world and turning water into a commodity, activists counter.

China and India will not have enough fresh water to meet their needs before 2030, according to the “Global Water Crisis” report released this week. Well before that time, water shortages will increase conflicts and worsen instability in sub-Saharan Africa, West Asia and North Africa, it warned.”

Read more: Alternet

 

Bottled-Water Habit Keeps Tight Grip on Mexicans

Photo retrieved from: www.nytimes.com

“In Iztapalapa and in many communities across Mexico, talk of tap water is a constant — whether there is any, how it smells, what color it is, or whether it carries sand, mud or unspecified insect life.

Despite reassurances from the authorities that municipal plants pump clean water into the supply network, skepticism is widespread, even when politicians sometimes come forward to guzzle some tap water in public to make a point. “Who knows?” Mr. Montero asked.

A study released last year by the Inter-American Development Bank found that Mexicans used about 127 gallons of bottled water per person a year, more than four times the bottled-water consumption in the United States and more than any country surveyed.

“People are using this water for cooking, for bathing their babies,” said Federico Basañes, division chief for water and sanitation at the development bank.

There is a similar move toward jugs of clean water in countries like China, Indonesia and Thailand, the development bank found, as rising incomes give residents the ability to buy bottled water.”

Read more: New York Times

 

SF Considering Ways To Curb Plastic Water Bottles

Photo retrieved from: www.ap.org

“City officials are considering an ordinance that would require owners of new and renovated buildings with water fountains to install special bottle-filling taps. The law’s designed to encourage thirsty people to refill containers instead of reaching for another bottle of Evian or Aquafina.

“This is the appropriate next step to make it easier for San Franciscans to get out of the bad habit of using environmentally wasteful plastic water bottles and into the good habit of using reusable water containers,” said Board of Supervisors President David Chiu, who introduced the legislation in June.

Bottle-filling taps like the ones that would be required if Chiu’s measure passes already are found at San Francisco International Airport and at some city parks and schools. Installed behind a drinking fountain’s regular faucet, they dispense chilled water in a quick-streaming vertical jet that is high enough to accommodate most water containers.

Advocates say having bottle-specific spigots encourages the reuse of water bottles by eliminating long waits to fill them and removing concerns about germs. Some people squirm at the thought of drinking from a fountain exposed to so many mouths, although city officials say water fountains are no less hygienic than bottle taps.”

Read more: NPR

 

U.S. Bottled Water Sales Are Booming (Again) Despite Opposition

Photo retrieved from: www.nationalgeographic.com

“Despite organized anti-bottled-water campaigns across the country and a noisy debate about bottled water’s environmental impact, Americans are buying more bottled water than ever.

In 2011, total bottled water sales in the U.S. hit 9.1 billion gallons — 29.2 gallons of bottled water per person, according to sales figures from Beverage Marketing Corp.

The 2011 numbers are the highest total volume of bottled water ever sold in the U.S., and also the highest per-person volume.

Translated to the handy half-liter size Americans find so appealing, that comes to 222 bottles of water for each person in the country — four bottles of water for every man, woman and child, every week.

Indeed, bottled water sales aren’t just growing — it’s fair to say they’re booming. Volume increased by 4.1 percent in 2011 — five times as fast as the 0.9 percent growth in the sales of beverages overall, according to Beverage Marketing. Bottled water sales, in fact, are growing twice as fast as the economy itself.

“Americans are drinking more bottled water because they find it convenient, appealing and also healthy,” says Gary Hemphill, who is managing director for information services at Beverage Marketing, and a longtime observer of bottled water and beverage sales in the U.S. and around the world.”

Read more: National Geographic

 

Mass. town bans sale of plastic water bottles

Photo retrieved from: www.sustainabilityresourcecenter.ucsd

“Residents of the historic Massachusetts town of Concord (CON’-curd) have voted to ban the sale of single-serve plastic water bottles at local stores.

The ban on sales of bottles of a liter or less passed at Wednesday’s town meeting 403-364.

Supporters say it’s the most sweeping water bottle ban passed by any municipality in the nation and will cut down on pollution and limit exposure to toxic chemicals.

Opponents say singling out one form of plastic is ridiculous and the ban will harm local businesses. Opponents also point out that recycled plastic bottles can be used to make dozens of useful items.

Stores could be fined up to $50 for violating the ban.

The ban is scheduled to take effect Jan. 1, pending approval from the state attorney general’s office.”

Read more: boston.com

Bottled Water Industry Launches Marketing Battle Against Tap Water

Photo retrieved from: www.triplepundit.com

“Many people are finally waking up to the fact that pre-packaged bottled water is just not necessary. It has even been banned in places like Grand Canyon National Park. Over 90 U.S. universities have either banned or plan to ban bottled water on their campuses, according to the Ecologist, and over 100 U.S. towns and cities have also banned most forms of bottled water.

The bottled water industry is not taking this backlash lying down. Instead it has launched a marketing battle “to turn the public back onto plastic bottled water,” as the Ecologist puts it. In the U.S., the battle is being waged by the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) trade association. The IBWA even launched a YouTube video against what it terms the “anti-bottled water activism on college campuses.” The video, titled, Student Activism: 101, paints college campus bottled water bans as a matter of “freedom of choice.”

Read more: Triple Pundit

 

Mexico’s Water War

Photo retrieved from: www.petrecycling.com

“It isn’t just tourists who won’t drink the water in Mexico. It’s nearly everyone, making the country one of the most valuable markets in the world for beverage companies. Mexicans are the world’s biggest drinkers of soda, putting away 166 liters of the bubbly stuff per person in 2010, and of bottled water, chugging down 248 liters per capita in 2011, according to preliminary estimates from the Beverage ­Marketing Corp. The latter figure is more than double Americans’ annual consumption of 110 liters.

With growth in the soda segment flattening out, in part due to government antiobesity campaigns (soda sales have been banned in schools), the growth and competition are in water, where market leader Danone is fighting it out with Coca-Cola and Pepsi.

“Soft drinks are no longer such a great business in Mexico,” says Ana Trulin, an analyst in Mexico City with Euromonitor. “Water is the big profitmaker.”

Analysts project Mexican bottled-water sales will grow to $13 billion by 2015, up from $9 billion in 2011, surpassing the U.S. to become the world’s largest market.”

Read more: Forbes

 

Parks Chief Sets Conditions for Plastic Bottle Bans

Retrieved from: www.banthebottle.net

“The director of the National Park Service, after blocking Grand Canyon National Park’s attempt to ban the sale of small plastic water bottles, will now allow such bans, but under a restrictive set of conditions, the park service announced on Thursday.

Jon Jarvis, the director, issued a policy directive to all parks this week requiring that any park contemplating such a ban comply with a detailed checklist calling for written reports on issues like the amount of waste to be eliminated and the effect on the revenue of concessionaires and nonprofit groups that support the parks. The policy also requires parks planning a ban to consult with the park service’s public health office on its potential impact.”

Read more: New York Times