On March 10th Ju Young posted an extremely informative entry on bottled water, “Do you still drink bottled water?” The message to cut down on bottled water is still big in advertising, environmental groups, the media, politics, and just about everywhere else. It’s also an ongoing topic of discussion in the Water Center offices.
In early May, New York State Governor David Paterson signed an executive order directing state agencies to stop buying bottled water by May 1, 2010. The order, ‘No 18: Restricting the use of bottled water at state facilities and promoting executive agency sustainability,’ says that agencies will have to make a plan for phasing out bottled water and water coolers and for replacing them with sources of tap water, such as fountains or other dispensers. Environmental reasons are cited, such as the huge amount of energy that goes into production and shipping (which leads to the release of more greenhouse gases), the polluting and unhealthy chemicals that leach from the plastic, and the enormous amount of waste that the bottles add to landfills. The order also gives fiscal responsibility as a justification for the ban on bottled water. I think it will be interesting to see in a year or two how big of an impact this makes. Hopefully other states and governments will follow suit.