The Council of Canadians St. John’s chapter has found Nestle bottled water in their local grocery store — 3,147 kilometres from where it was bottled in Aberfoyle, Ontario.
St. John’s chapter activist Andrea Furlong comments, “We have wonderful tap water in St. John’s, so the idea of buying bottled water that has been shipped thousands of kilometres from Ontario is a bit of a head-scratcher. The impact of water extraction on the source aquifer is real and so is the amount of oil burnt up transporting it all the way to St. John’s with a bunch of useless plastic waste. And for what? 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? Why pay for water twice?”
Our South Shore chapter also found Nestle Pure Life brand bottled water in a local store in Bridgewater (1,939 kilometres from Aberfoyle), as did our Thunder Bay chapter (1,428 kilometres), our Montreal chapter (605 kilometres), and our Northumberland chapter in Cobourg (179 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.