The Huffington Post reports, “Bottled water — and its sourcing and plastic packaging — has become a controversial product. Now, there’s another reason you might want to avoid it. Nestlé, which is a major bottler of water in Canada, sources water from plants in Hope, B.C. and Aberfoyle, Ont. The plastic bottles then travel hundreds — sometimes thousands — of kilometres to be sold across the country, activists from the Council of Canadians have discovered.”
The article adds, “Bottles from Hope were found in stores as far away as Yellowknife, while those from Aberfoyle were on sale in St. John’s. And yes, the tap water in those places are perfectly drinkable. So to compare, stores in Yellowknife were selling bottles from Hope — 2,126 kilometres away — the city’s tap water comes from Yellowknife River, which is eight kilometres away.”
It then quotes Northwest Territories chapter activist Robert Wilson who says, “Trucking it thousands of kilometres across the country creates needless pollution and adds millions of empty plastic bottles to our landfill. All that for the privilege of paying an astronomical markup to drink water that’s not half as good or as fresh as what comes out of our taps for next to nothing.”
To watch the 71-second Huffington Post video that animates the distances travelled and highlights Wilson’s quote, please click here.
The Pacific Institute says, “Energy is needed to fill the bottles with water at the factory, move it by truck, train, ship, or air freight to the user, cool it in grocery stores or home refrigerators, and recover, recycle, or throw away the empty bottles. [We] estimate that the total amount of energy embedded in our use of bottled water can be as high as the equivalent of filling a plastic bottle one quarter full with oil.”
The Council of Canadians is calling for a phase-out of current bottled water-taking permits and for a permanent moratorium on new permits.
Chapters are also mobilizing in towns and cities across the country in support of our blue community campaign. A blue community is a municipality that adopts a framework that recognizes water as a human right, opposes the sale of bottled water in public facilities and at municipal events, and promotes publicly financed, owned and operated water and wastewater services.