Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Bottled Water Ban in Australia

In an effort to be environmentally friendly, many of us have moved from using plastic water bottles to nalgenes, or even aluminum water bottles. The town of Bundanoon, Australia has taken it a step further, outlawing all bottled water.

The decision to ban bottled water came from the local community last week, in a near unanimous vote of 354-2. Residents realize the impact on the environment that plastic water bottles have, as well as understanding how bottled water is really nothing more than tap water itself.

The local government will set up public drinking water stations, as well as offering indoor services with chilled water for a small fee. Al-Jazeera mentioned that "you can refill your drink bottle 1,350 times for the average cost of a bottle of spring water," thus creating an economic push for citizens of Bundanoon to switch to longer lasting bottles.

According to Bundanoon's website, "Australia's annual consumption of bottled water is about 540 million litres [142,652,908 gallons]. To sell this much bottled water the industry uses approximately 1 billion litres [264,172,052 gallons] of water each year. In environmental terms the production and distribution of this volume of bottled water created more than 60,000 tonnes [132,277,357 pounds] of greenhouse gas emissions, equivalent to the emissions 13,000 cars generate in one year." While these numbers don't reflect the statistics on bottled water consumption in Bundanoon alone, one can hope that the rest of Australia follows Bundanoon's example.

Photo Courtesy of Mivox on Flickr

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