Taking Back the Tap, One City at A Time

Grand Rapids, Michigan : Take Back the Tap CampaignGrand Rapids, Michigan is the latest U.S. city to join the effort to “Take Back The Tap.” Following New York, San Francisco and Portland, the Midwestern city has pledged to stop using bottled water in city facilities or at its events.

Take Back The Tap, the brainchild of the advocacy group Food & Water Watch, is a national two-part campaign. It convinces businesses to switch from bottled water to tap water and asks people to petition congress for a public trust fund that will finance water infrastructure.

Grand Rapids formally joined the movement Tuesday, as the city commission resolved to stop buying bottled water for use in city facilities or at city events. Jon Keesecker, a senior organizer for Food & Water Watch’s Take Back the Tap campaign, told the commission Tuesday that Grand Rapids’ resolution represented “one of the most comprehensive approaches that we’ve seen across the country,” noting the involvement of the city’s Saint Mary’s Health Care network in the movement.

“Tap water is a better choice than the bottled brands, for our health, our environment and our wallets,” Mayor George Heartwell told the Grand Rapids Press.

The city resolution notes that in 2006 Americans bought 33 billion bottles of water, which requires nearly 900,000 tons of plastic and more than 17 million barrels of oil for production.

According to the resolution, bottled water, at $1 per pint, is 2,400 times more expensive than tap water for residents. City water is less than a penny per gallon.

Make sure to follow the rest of Circle of Blue’s upcoming coverage on the bottled water battles in the U.S.

Read more of Circle of Blue’s local and global bottled water coverage.

Read more: The Grand Rapids Press, Take Back The Tap

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