Natasha Wilson

362 Things – ‘Unbottle It’
February 2, 2009, 12:11
Filed under: 365 Things

siggMaude Barlow is the Senior Advisor on Water to the President of the United Nations, and for the last month she’s been touring on a personal mission to ban bottled water.

Water is a human right, and it falls into the category of ‘basic needs’, but the commercialization of water and the bottled water ‘movement’ has had a devistating effect on our planet.  I heard Maude speak in Ottawa, and since then I’ve vowed to never purchase another plastic bottle of water again.  Instead, I’ve opted to travel with a safe, sustainable stainless steel water bottle.  Here’s why:

1. Bottled water leads to water shortages

According to the Earth Policy Institute, water shortages have been reported in the Great Lakes region near water bottling plants.  Furthermore, the manufacturing of water bottles requires vast amounts of water. It takes three to five litres of water for every one-litre bottle produced.

2. Bottled contributes to climate change

The Bow River Keeper estimates that “the manufacturing and transport of one kilogram of bottled water consumes 26.88 kilograms of water (7.1 gallons) 0.849 Kilograms of fossil fuel (one litre or 0.26 gal) and emits 562 grams of greenhouse gases (1.2 pounds).”

3. Our landfills cannot support bottled water

According to a recent Toronto Sun article, “as few as 50 percent of the water bottles Torontonians consume everyday are actually being recycled. That means as many as 65 million empty plastic water bottles per year end up as garbage in a landfill waste site.”  In some communities the percentage of bottled water ending up in landfills can be as high as 80 percent.

4. Bottled water is not safer

Bottled water is regulated as a food product under the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.  As such, water bottling plants are inspected on average only once every three years.  Regulation of tap water on the other hand, is far more stringent.

5. Water is a human right

The bottled water industry has worked hard to undermine our faith in public water. Canada has one of the best public drinking water systems in the world.


1 Comment so far
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Ok, I’ve long given up buying bottles of water, I am considering not drinking the bottled water that my office has when I return to work. But, what I want to know is, is there ANY possible way I can rationalise my addiction to Perrier? In the 50s, every bar set had a little thing to make carbonated water…where does one find something like that? What is it even called???

Comment by ainsley

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