In the remote picturesque Southern Highlands of Australia, a small town leads by water example. The citizens of Bundanoon in New South Wales voted by a significant majority to ban the use of bottled water, making Bundanoon the first bottled water-free town in the country, The Daily Telegraph reported Wednesday.
The decision was taken up at a public meeting in the Bundanoon Memorial Hall, where almost 400 people came to voice their opinion. Only two voted against the proposal, according to Huw Kingston, a local businessman and organizer.
“It was the biggest ever turnout in the community here at Bundanoon – it’s overwhelming support,” he said.
As part of the ban, shops in the 2,000-people town will stop stocking and selling bottled water. Instead, people will be able to fill their bottles for free from filtered water fountains that will be installed on the town’s main street. Retailers in Bundanoon have already agreed with the measures.
As the global warming discussions increase worldwide, the bottled water industry is receiving more and more criticism for using plastic for bottles and fuel for transport. According to a 2006 New South Wales study, bottled water production is responsible for releasing 60,000 tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
By pioneering the ban, the citizens of Bundanoon hope to encourage other communities to phase out bottled water.
”It’s possible it will extend to other places,” said Jon Dee, whose Do Something group helped ban plastic bags in Tasmania. “The main idea is to get people thinking about their usage of bottled water –- we’re spending about half a billion dollars on it here in Australia.”
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Source: The Daily Telegraph
, a Bulgaria native, is a Chicago-based reporter for Circle of Blue. She co-writes The Stream, a daily digest of international water news trends.
Interests: Europe, China, Environmental Policy, International Security.