Here’s a guest post from Alex at Quench (blog here)
Take a Stand – Ban the Bottle.
Each day more cities, universities, companies and the like are taking a stand against bottled water as a worldwide campaign to ban the bottle continues to grow.
Back in 2007, the Mayor of San Fransisco first banned the use of city funds towards the purchase of bottled water. Then, in the fall of 2009, Bundanoon, a tiny town two hours south of Sydney, Australia was the first to ban bottled water in its entirety. This all happened because a local retailer wanted to educate the townspeople about their environmental impact. Not long after, the whole town took a pledge to remove all bottled water from every shelf and every fridge. Now, almost 2 years later, many cities, towns, and provinces have made a similar effort towards the cause.
But why you should I do this, you might ask? Just under 1.3 million tons of plastic PET water bottles were produced in 2006. 76.5% of those water bottles ended up in landfills. This does not even include the energy that is wasted in the production and transportation of bottled water.
But if taking this leap for ubiquitous plastic bottles and images of ever-filling landfills isn’t enough, take cost and health into consideration. Today, more than 50% of Americans drink bottled water as their major source of drinking water, completely ignoring the fact that U.S. tapwater is a high quality, low cost alternative. Bottled water is at least 300 times more expensive than tap water.
Outside of our daily lives, there are significant costs as well. “Particularly in lean budget times, a dollar spent on bottled water is a dollar spent on city services, especially when it is cheaper from the tap,” said Tony Winnicker, a spokesman for Mayor Newsom of San Fransisco. For the office, there are additional costs in the transportation and delivery of the bottled water coolers that should also be considered which can add up to about 90% of the bottled water costs.
There’s also the health risks. Bisphenol-A, or BPA as it’s more commonly known, is a chemical found in most plastic water bottles. Since it was discovered in 1998, the list of its harmful side effects seems to be continuously growing. Recently it has been strongly linked to diabetes, heart disease, cancer, miscarriage, and childhood asthma.
There’s a reason why Time named ‘the war on bottled water’ #4 on its Top 10 FoodTrends. “Once hip, bottled water is now unforgivably ‘90s,” John Cloud writes in the article.Many contest that banning bottled water is impractical, but if it is initiated with certain plans inplace, this can have a positive effect on the city’s environmental impact, health, and wallet.
Thanks, Alex. By the way, his company is contributing to the solution by providing bottleless water coolers. Check them out here.