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Vancouver to vote on bottled water ban today

This morning ‘24 Hours Vancouver’ reports that, “Vancouver council will consider banning bottled water from civic facilities today and urge a return to the tap. Metro Vancouver wants to reduce bottled water use by 20 percent by 2010 because of the effects of bulk water removal, the life-cycle of bottles and the use of energy in transportation. The city ban could cost $841,300 in revenue and sponsorship if civic theatres, parks board, PNE, Carnegie Centre and the Gathering Place could not sell single bottles of water.”

Yesterday, the Vancouver Courier reported that, “Tomorrow, April 23, the city’s standing committee on city services and budgets will consider a plan to phase out sales of bottled water at city-owned facilities such as recreation centres, park concession stands and theatres, and to increase the number of drinking fountains…The city’s plan calls for the immediate elimination of single-serving bottled water at council meetings as a symbolic first step. The plan also calls for encouraging the cafeteria at city hall to voluntarily reduce sales of bottled water and for improved maintenance of outdoor drinking fountains to make them more appealing.”

Part of the sponsorship revenue that the City of Vancouver could reportedly lose includes $100,400 from Coca-Cola. Additionally, “Coca-Cola, which bottles water under the Dasani brand, is the 2010 Games’ sponsor of non-alcoholic drinks. Dasani is bottled locally in Richmond.”

On April 20, the Globe and Mail reported that, “The changes would not put a significant dent in the number of water bottles that go to Vancouver landfills, but are seen as a way for the city to demonstrate its ‘leadership on sustainability’ and ‘confidence in the tap water quality’ of Vancouver, according to the proposal.”

To see a joint Council of Canadians-Polaris Institute action alert on today’s vote please go to http://canadians.org/campaignblog/?p=354. The Council of Canadians has also contacted more than 1,000 of our members in Vancouver asking them to contact their city councilor to encourage them to support the bottled water ban. Vancouver is Canada’s third-largest city and a bottled water ban there would represent a significant win.