Aussie Town Bans Bottled Water

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.”

Read more here.

Source: The Daily Telegraph

5 replies
  1. Denis Wilson says:

    If only the media reports were accurate.

    No mention was made in the public meeting of the environmental impact which the extraction of groundwater will have on the nearby Morton National Park. Its water falls and springs and the “Glow Worm Glen” are threatened by planned extraction of groundwater for a bottled water plant in the Village.

    Bundanoon has put a voluntary restriction on the sale in the village of “still” bottled water (only). The water bottlers plan to increase sales of sparking mineral water, as a result. Where is the environmental benefit in that?

    It is all a huge publicity stunt – for the benefit of a water filtration company. It is being promoted by a particular “environmentalist” of very high profile. Questions deserve to be asked.

    Denis Wilson

  2. frank arundel says:

    … this might be of interest. Worth checking out.

    Right now, this is the story behind the story that went round the
    world – Bundanoon, the first town to ban bottled water

    The double act featuring a state premier and the bottled water
    banners of Bundanoon has fallen flat on its face. Great intentions:
    lamentable execution.

    Amidst the biggest media splash in living memory, the New South
    Wales Premier banned bottled water in all government offices and
    Bundanoon became the world’s first bottled water free town. The
    news covered nine pages of Google entries. Just about every major
    news outlet loved it.

    Up in the villa and down in the city, the battle was on to wind
    back the $400b giant global bottled water scam rated the fastest
    growing, least regulated rort on earth.

    24 hours after the global bandwagon got going it turns out the NSW
    government reneged. The boss had made the announcement right after
    contracts had been signed with bottled water companies for ongoing
    supply. And the Bundanoon ban? Well guess what; it didn’t include
    sparking mineral water in glass bottles.

    To add to the farce, on the day Bundanoon blitzed the world, the
    local council approved a development application by Norlex Holdings
    to build a large bottled water extraction plant right in the middle
    of the world’s first bottled water free town. Norlex Holdings is
    now busting to sell Bundanoon sparkling groundwater – bound to be
    lovingly poured into glass bottles in a shiny new plant, to be
    lugged around the country from the town known to all as the place
    that doesn’t drink the plastic packaged still variety. Money just
    can’t buy Norlex’s market potential.

    Greg Parker, just three weeks into his stint as CEO of the
    Australian Beverage Council and the Australasian Bottled Water
    Institute couldn’t believe his luck. An informed inside source
    spoke of his delight ‘I can’t really understand the logic of the
    Bundanoon group’, he said,’ orders are coming in for sparking
    water, in particular from the local pub.’

    The bottled water industry had another coup when Manly Council was
    forced to pull their filtered water bubblers off-line due to the
    swine flu scare. The company that supplies bubblers that stand on
    the Manly Corso has promised to install one unit in the Bundanoon
    school and two in the main street.

    On the water front it’s a case of taking the bad news with the
    worse news. In a country leading the world down the wrong track on
    water stewardship, laughable stuff-ups are accelerating the race to
    the edge of disaster.

    If we are to stand a chance of turning the tide, let’s pray for a
    major cut back on grandstanding and prescribe massive injection of
    care and attention to detail.

    Best wishes from the mad place down-under.

  3. Paul Larkin says:

    Does anyone know how to contact this seemingly mysterious Norlex Holdings? No one answers the phone using the number provided by White Pages and they don’t appear to have a web site.

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