[Salt Lake City Mayor] Rocky [Anderson] targets waste of bottled water
Posted December 18, 2006 in [Water]
Doug Smeath – Deseret Morning News
Rocky Anderson is taking his fight for a more eco-friendly Salt Lake City to a new enemy: bottled water.
In a letter sent to members of his cabinet last month, the mayor asked that departments stop handing out bottled water at meetings and interoffice events.
The letter does not rise to the level of an executive order or a new policy. Rather, it asks for voluntary cooperation.
“The environmental impacts surrounding the production, shipment and disposal of bottled water do not fit within the city’s goal to conduct itself in an environmentally sustainable way,” Anderson wrote.
According to his letter, more than 1.5 million barrels of oil are used to produce the plastic bottles for individual-serving water each year. A number of environmental Web sites corroborate that figure.
“Add to that the tremendous amount of fuel needed to transport it from the bottling line to the store shelf, and it is clear why bottled water has been described as the most inefficient method for transporting water in human history,” he wrote.
He cited a study by the Container Recycling Institute reporting that eight of 10 plastic water bottles end up in landfills rather than being recycled. There is no reason to use bottled water, Anderson wrote, in places like Salt Lake, where tap water is safe and clean.
Not to mention cheaper. Anderson’s letter estimates water is up to 10,000 times costlier when delivered by bottle rather than by tap.
The letter encouraged department heads to invest in water pitchers and reusable cups so that staff members can easily drink tap water in meetings. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s not just the impact of the waste of bottles from bottled water, it’s also about the production and the resources that are used to produce and transport these products. With oil prices at an all time high, it’s ludicrous to keep using oil to produce such “commodities”.
There is a site called Knock Out Bottled Water where you can see businesses in Salt Lake City that have pledged to not sell those products, has a page of resources, and links to Think Outside the Bottle.
Additionally, you can take the Individual Knockout Bottled Water Pledge.
Kudos to Mayors across the U.S. who are taking action on phasing out bottled water in their cities:
Published on Wednesday, June 25, 2008 by Agence France Presse
US Mayors Agree to Phase Out Bottled Water
The vote comes amid increasing environmental concerns about the use of bottled water because of its use of plastic and energy costs to transport drinking supplies.
The mayors, meeting in Miami, approved a resolution proposed by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom along with 17 other large-city mayors to redirect taxpayer dollars from bottled water to other city services.
“Cities are sending the wrong message about the quality of public water when we spend taxpayer dollars on water in disposable containers from a private corporation,” said Newsom.
“Our public water systems are among the best in the world and demand significant and ongoing investment.”
According to the activist group Think Outside the Bottle, more than 60 mayors in the United States have already canceled bottled water contracts.
“It’s just plain common sense for cities to stop padding the bottled water industry’s bottom line at taxpayer expense,” said Gigi Kellett, national director of the Think Outside the Bottle campaign.
“This resolution will send the strong message that opting for tap over bottled water is what’s best for our environment, our pocketbooks and our long-term, equitable access to our most essential resource.”
The American Beverage Associations called the resolution “tainted with hypocrisies and inaccuracies.”
“While some mayors oppose the use of bottled water by city governments, most mayors across America gladly welcome bottled water when disaster strikes,” the industry group said in a statement.
“Our beverage companies continually come to the aid of communities ravaged by floods, fires, hurricanes, other natural disasters and compromised municipal water systems.”
The group said plastic water bottles “are 100 percent recyclable, making bottled water one of the few fully recyclable consumer goods.”
© 2008 Agence France Presse