The Council of Canadians Northwest Territories chapter has found Nestle bottled water in a local grocery store in Yellowknife — 2,126 kilometres from where it was bottled in Hope, British Columbia.
NWT chapter activist Robert Wilson says, “We have wonderful tap water in Yellowknife. We don’t need to buy water in single-use plastic bottles that have been shipped thousands of kilometres from southern BC. Removing the water from the Kawkawa Lake aquifer in Hope has a real impact. 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.”
Our Winnipeg chapter also found Nestle bottled water in a local store (2,144 kilometres from Hope), as did our Quill Plains chapter in Archerwill, Saskatchewan (1,646 kilometres), our Red Deer chapter (958 kilometres), and our Edmonton chapter (1,009 kilometres).
In November 2011, Business Insider reported that the production of water bottles consumed 17 million barrels of oil a year in the United States.
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.