Tim Philp, writing for the The Examiner in the southern Ontario city of Brantford, questions why the city council debated banning bottled water at City Hall when there were much larger issues (transportation woes, for example) that needed to be considered.
It was clear that Philp didn’t want to spend an hour listening to the monotonous debate over banning water bottles. Neither did council members, apparently: The idea was tossed last night.
The columnist, writing prior to the meeting, made a few points of why choosing tap over bottled makes sense in some cases. We agree at Bottled Water Matters and drink tap water sometimes too. His points are fair (though the numbers can be debated and are all over the board throughout the media world), yet we appreciate Mr. Philp for looking at bottled water in a reasonable light, examining why it should remain a choice for all people – public workers or not.
…there are a lot of products that the city uses that are not environmentally friendly. We still use diesel and gasoline for fuel, we have too many streetlights wasting energy shining into the sky. Even the amount of paper that city hall generates each year would probably denude a large forest. Why pick on water?
One thing that is not mentioned is that bottled water is portable and the containers do not need to be cleaned. The motion speaks to drinking fountains at city hall being available for the public. I don’t know about you, but with H1N1 and other nasty viruses going around, I am loathe to drink from a public fountain. Bottled water, being single use, eliminates that concern. Come to think about it, I don’t ever recall a city councillor taking a drink from the drinking fountains at city hall in the 15 years I have been watching council. Is there a message in that behaviour?
Whether bottled water is “environmentally friendly” is a matter of perspective. Yes, it uses plastics, however, it is one of thousands of products that use plastics, and it’s using less and less to make the container. Does it cost more than tap? Well, yes, but is a buck or two really a lot to ask for a refreshing, healthy (and H1N1-free) product?
The point is this: Let’s tackle more pressing issues than bottled water, shall we?