The Resilience Hub & Portland Maine Permaculture Message Board › Banning Single-Serve Bottled Water

Banning Single-Serve Bottled Water

Lisa F.
lisa.f.organizer
Group Organizer
Portland, ME
Post #: 2,115
Many of us learned about the issues around this when watching Tapped last season. First town to put through a ban: http://www.wickedloca...­
Greg M.
user 3541854
Acton, ME
Post #: 317
Count me in as one of the people who don't get it. To me bottled water in PET containers competes with soda in PET containers, not with water from the tap. So I'm on a trip, it's hot, I stop for gas and need to get something to drink. I have a choice to pay money for water in a bottle or water in a bottle with sugar and suspected carcinogens. Either way water is being bottled and sold. Why not just have a federal level bottle bill instead of this stupid state by state patchwork that gets people in trouble for mixing in NH bottles? That and why is it still 5 cents per container? Shouldn't it be something like 10 or 25 cents by now?
I know it's my fault when I plan poorly and I pay the price by having to pay for what would normally be free. But then I recycle the bottle. Please don't make me drink soda or tap water that tastes like metal if I'm lucky enough to find a fountain.
Lisa F.
lisa.f.organizer
Group Organizer
Portland, ME
Post #: 2,116
I don't think it has to be all-or-nothing but now having an understanding of the problems with the manufacture of the bottles, the extraction of water from "the commons" (Canada and US have a totally different legal stance on that, for example, which is interesting), and the reality of actually getting these bottles recycled (it's not happening as much as you'd think) puts me in favor of wanting to phase it out.

Ultimately, it would be cool to think through what we would want the situation to be like...is it possible that in x number of years the single serving bottles are phased out (perhaps with exceptions for travel service centers for a while) while also ramping up point-of-distribution filtration to make questionable tap water more palatable? It would be a big change for retailers who would fight it. And the extractor/bottlers as well. As they wouldn't be making the profits...

I think back to the 90s when manufacturer-responsibility policies on packaging started rolling out in EU countries. In a nutshell, the governments were saying, "Sure, you can use as much crappy packaging as you want, but for every kilo of package waste you put into the marketplace, you pay this fee to support our recycling and waste management efforts." It was amazing how fast industry came up with "creative solutions" and packaging waste was dramatically minimized in short order. It wasn't perfect, but it worked. Don't think you could ever get manufacturer-responsibility policies put through in the U, S of A though:)

I remember my mother saying that the idea of buying water in bottles was total science fiction when she was a kid in the 40s and 50s:)
Jackson B.
featherjack
Lewiston, ME
Post #: 155
In a nutshell, the governments were saying, "Sure, you can use as much crappy packaging as you want, but for every kilo of package waste you put into the marketplace, you pay this fee to support our recycling and waste management efforts." It was amazing how fast industry came up with "creative solutions" and packaging waste was dramatically minimized in short order.


Cryptic bumper sticker: "Internalize Externalities"


Barbara R.
123bubbles
Oakland, ME
Post #: 49
Wow, I am happy to hear this last statement.
I also read an article once on how if it wasn't for bottled water, places is crisis from tsusanamis, earthquakes and such wouldn't fair so well without single serving bottled water. There would be a lot of water waste and less likely that individuals would have adequate amounts provided to them. Selling bottled water to the public everyday helps provide for these times of crisis.
Perhaps we need to think more of the waste not, want not philosphy.
I for one have a great water supply, take it where ever I go and allow others to fill up jugs at my home for their personal use at home or other places.
Lisa F.
lisa.f.organizer
Group Organizer
Portland, ME
Post #: 2,117
Yes, I do think there's a time and place for bottled water, especially in emergency settings. The ubiquitous nature of it, however, sort of lets us off the hook for cleaning up the public drinking water supply to begin with, which should be priority number one (as in not polluting it to start out...naturally occurring radon, etc. notwithstanding).

Sometimes there's an income issue here, though, too...

If the public water supply is not clean/good...those with cash just buy it in bottles or install expensive filtration. Those with no money...get what they get.
public postal service ~ fedex, ups
public education ~ private education
cheaper, subsidized food ~ access to better food
and so on, although it's certainly never black-and-white.

As with most things, "its' complicated." :)
Barbara R.
123bubbles
Oakland, ME
Post #: 50
Yes discerning the outcomes of our actions, really thinking things through. There is a time and place for everything. Knowing what that is depends on how observant we are! Principle #1, right?
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