The Water Bottle Ban: Coming to a municipality near you
By Jason Buckland, Sympatico / MSN Finance
Not since the era of Free Love and unabashed promiscuity has there been this big of a hate on the use of plastic.
This week, Niagara Falls jumped on the eco-bandwagon and became the 25th municipality in Canada to ban the use of plastic water bottles in its city-owned facilities.
And with about 40-plus other Canadian regions – across six provinces – considering the same ban soon, the message is becoming pretty clear: the plastic water bottle is soon to be kaput.
“Within 5-10 years, you will not see them in Canada,” says Trevor Hess, founder of SkyTrax stainless steel water bottles, one of the leading alternatives to the now seemingly endangered plastic bottle.
Hess has been studying the trends of water bottle consumption for the past six months and says it’s “pointless” to continue using plastic water bottles when only about 30% of them are actually recycled, leaving the other 70% to sit in trash heaps where they take about 700 years to decompose.
Add to that, he says, public water “is tested much more per year than water tested at (private) plants across Canada,” so it’s safer – and way cheaper – to fill up a reusable bottle from a tap.
The controversy about the water bottle ban is only heating up, too. Environmentalists will say phasing out the use of plastic water bottles eases our carbon footprint, forcing less energy to be used recycling them and less fuel to be burned in their delivery and distribution.
They are right.
Consumers, on the other hand, will gripe about losing their choices in the retail market, where the ban at city facilities is likely to flow to bottle prohibitions at school boards and on to variety stores and big box vendors.
They’re also right.
But the most intriguing argument, we think, comes from complaints by Nestle, one of the largest manufacturers of water bottles in Canada, as more municipalities look to outlaw its product.
Gail Cosman, president of Nestle Waters Canada, tells Canada.com that removing the freedom to buy water as an alternative to pops and energy drinks is something society can ill afford to do.
“Those born after 2000 may be the first generation of Canadians who don't outlive their parents,” she says. “They need the continued encouragement of municipalities, our industry and the media if we hope to blunt the advance of obesity and diabetes.”
So where does the debate turn from here? She sounds right, too.
They all sound right.
Posted by: Linda, Gore Bay, ON | Feb 26, 2022 8:52:35 AM
With the findings that plastic water bottles can possibly cause cancer, you would think that companies would've already been looking at some other form of watered bottles, like glass, or other alternatives, so that we can at least still purchase bottled water.
Posted by: Dan | Feb 26, 2022 9:00:58 AM
Water Bottle ban??? What about all the soft drink and alcohol in plastic bottles...should this be addressed as well?...When soft drinks were all in glass bottles the bottlers had a good recycling plan in effect then...maybe we should go back to reusable glass packageing like that the beer manufacturers still use?
Posted by: b b | Feb 26, 2022 9:10:27 AM
I like the taste of municipal water soooo much. So when I'm out and the only water available is a bottle of Nestle spring water, I put in a teaspoon of bleach so I can enjoy that at home tap water the municipality's do so well testing. Bottle some municiple water or put it in a can what ever you feel, put it at you local vendor and see which one sells out first. Actually, your more likely to find city water in the laundry section.Simple fact is that they test their water more because they have to. Nestle has not killed anyone ever. How many across Ontario has the city water killed, poisoned in the last ten years. SCARY!Muniple water could come with instructions... take contents remove from eco freindly package boil ten minutes, strain and enjoy. Wonder how much bottle water they drink in Walkerton?
Posted by: randy | Feb 26, 2022 9:12:59 AM
Maybe Tim Horton cups should be next- there's just as many of them blowing around in the streets
Posted by: Maureen | Feb 26, 2022 9:53:11 AM
With all the concerns of recycling we should put our efforts into having more recycling boxes available on our city streets and roads, plastic can be recycled as well as half if not more of all the garbage you see while driving or walking. Put a small refundable deposit on the bottles and see how quickly people start returning there plastic. How can you ban plastic when it is used for almost 90% of what people drink - water, soft drinks,milk,juices - the list goes on and on. available recycle bins is a much more effective way of improving the earth.
Posted by: Fred Guigue | Feb 26, 2022 10:02:25 AM
Put the right numbers into all the arguments, and when concluded yes they all appear to have a positive side to thier plea. BUT !!! would not the safty of the family, as well the economy both benifit by both simply being responsible? If government would adopt a building code which would include the installation of at the very least a R.O. ( reverse osmosis ), and for area's with 500+ TDS ( total disolved solids ) it should include a complete water filtration system. Most bottled water is produced by this method ( RO ) , THE PROBLEM TO MY KNOWLEDGE HAS NEVER BEEN THE FILTERED WATER - IT'S THE PLASTIC IT'S STORED IN PRIOR TO CONSUMPTION ( at times i've heard of it being sealed in the plastic bottle for more than 6 months - this in itself can't be a good thing.). So i too could join the sounds right catagory, but in the end we all have to decide whats best. The sad truth is in most casses this will be decided by $$$ ( who can afford to install the systems in existing homes, one part of the water industry willing to take a hit at the retail level to promote wider and safe access in all area's of our country, and finally the government could perhaps help - OH LETS SAY, PROVIDING A REASONABLE KICK BACK TO INDIVIDUALS THREW INCOME TAX? Well i've said enough ( although i certainly could say much more on this topic-but who's listening?).HE WHO HAS THE GOLD MAKES THE RULES. Have a great day everyone, get wet.
Posted by: Chris | Feb 26, 2022 10:27:16 AM
Ban plastic water bottles? What about ALL THE TIM HORTON'S COFFEE CUPS thrown on our streets and boulevards....just disgusting.....SOUNDS MORE LIKE A DISPOSAL ISSUE that a material issue....
How about putting more waste bins around the City?? seems there are not enough and are also constantly over flowing with garbage....how about picking up the trash?....These City workers should get off their butts and do some work. They certainly get paid enough........
Will they also ban POP and juice in plastic bottles? What about salad dressing, mustard and ketchup in plastic bottles? Come to think of it almost everything is in plastic bottles.
Perhaps the POP industry is jealous of the WATER companies taking away some of their profits and this is a revenge tactic......
I like my spring water.....I will not drink water with BLEACH that I use when I flush my toilet .....also I will not drink POP!
Posted by: Melissa | Feb 26, 2022 10:28:34 AM
Banning plastic water bottles is absolutely ridiculous. Sure, take away our only healthy drinking choice - what will we drink then?? High calorie, tooth rotting fruit juice or pop?? Terrific. More obesity to tax the health care system. Why not ban ALL plastic drink bottles? What does big brother have against water?
Posted by: Dennis Caswell | Feb 26, 2022 10:34:04 AM
Saskatchewan does have a 10 cent deposit (and return) on the small water bottles. In addition, there is a recycling fee on the purchase of these water bottles. This tends to reduce the number of these in the trash, as they can be returned for a refund.
Maybe the rest of the country could follow suit.
Posted by: al | Feb 26, 2022 10:37:24 AM
RO system for house under 300 bucks filters last 6 months with lots of use replacment filters for 100 bucks thats way less than anyone is spending on bottled water and then you know what you are getting also and the not trapping water in a bottle is a bonus and f----ing up the water cycle of the earth how many liters of water is trapped in bottles around this world not behing used buy the earth evaporating and falling back to earth water is the reason for all life the water trapped in bottles is doing nothing but hurting the earth and thats not even talking about the plastic free the water save the earth
Posted by: Susan Frudd | Feb 26, 2022 10:47:16 AM
So now the government is telling me what kind of water I can drink. What's next? We are slowly giving away all of our freedoms in the name of conversation - we will regret this someday.
Posted by: Chas | Feb 26, 2022 10:52:49 AM
Yes, we should have alternatives to pop in public places. Does anyone remember the water fountain? I get quite frustrated when I go to a public place like a concert hall, airport, etc., and can't find a water fountain, and sometimes am forced to buy a water bottle. For one thing, I don't like the non-taste of bottled water, and of course, it's not that good for me, because in many cases it has no minerals in it, so doesn't replenish what I may have lost in perspiration. Secondly, the whole concept of making water a commodity is highly immoral when a majority of the world's population is struggling for their basic right to clean water. And then there's the issue of all the plastic being introduced into the environment. The Nestles of the world should just wake up and realize that their day in the water business is over, and perhaps put their money into research for affordable water treatment plants to be used in places where clean water is not available.
Posted by: sally | Feb 26, 2022 11:00:28 AM
This is ridiculous. One more freedom, in a long list, that is being taken away from us. There is not one bloody thing wrong with plastic. It came from the earth you numbskulls. I'm sick to death of these greenie boob's ruling our lives.
Posted by: sally | Feb 26, 2022 11:05:42 AM
Look at sympatico's homepage survey today. 68% are in favour of this silly ban. So many idjits are deluded by the mainstream media. They swallow everything they are told by tv and newsrags. Doesn't anyone use their brain matter anymore and question this environmental garbage that is being shoved down our throats? Doesn't anyone see the REAL agenda behind this slime-green movement?
What a bunch of sheep.
Posted by: Shane | Feb 26, 2022 11:16:43 AM
They also have a deposit on water bottles here in Alberta. I have a stack of them saved for the next time the Beavers/Cubs/Scouts do their bottle drive.
Banning water bottles is crazy. Like others have said why attack just the water companies?
I would much rather they banned coke in plastic bottles. In countries like India for every 2 litres of coca cola they make they use 6 litres of water. Its just plain crazy.
My kids choose a bottle of water over fizzy drinks every time which i think is awesome! They wont drink tap water because it tastes disgusting though so this ban would mean effectively kids drinking less or even no water in exchange for drinks full of sugar. This generation of children are severely obese! This would just add to that problem.
Im from the UK but have been living in Alberta for the past 4 years. We had a system there for collecting the recycled goods which i thought worked very well and wasn't especially hard or didn't really cost you any extra time so even the laziest person could do it. We were left clear pinkish coloured bags with our normal black rubbish bags that you could basically put your recycled goods in such as paper & plastic bottles. Then you just left that out with the rubbish(Sorry trash :) ) like normal and the garbage men would separate the bags with one side for normal garbage and the other for recyclable goods.
If they do ban plastic bottles i think it will be a knee jerk reaction. They should be educating people on how to recycle, giving incentives and encouraging it not basically banning stuff to cut corners.
Posted by: Jen | Feb 26, 2022 11:25:49 AM
I agree, Sally, all of this "environmental garbage" is in fact ridiculous. Once plastic bottles are banned (if it happens), there will be a new thing that "causes cancer" and another thing that is not "green" enough for another idiot obsessed with what is or what is not contributing to the inevitable demise of the planet. "OH NO!" It's complete crap!
Also, another thing, what is with this one bag of garbage thing. I have quite a large family and soon there will be a baby joining the household. How are we expected to have the same amount of garbage as a household of two or three? It's just another thing. People are becoming obsessed with all of this environmental-hu-la JUNK!
Don't get me wrong about these things. I'm all about recycling and such, but it's getting to be impossible! I have three separate containers for recycling (cardboard, cans, co-mingle), I have the food waste containers and still more than one bag of garbage! Impossible!
Posted by: Tracy | Feb 26, 2022 11:31:40 AM
Water bottle ban what about pop and other things that come in bottles. As someone who does not drink juice or pop or milk if I go somewhere; what am I suppose to drink. No city run facilaty will give me a glass of water to drink.
Posted by: Mark | Feb 26, 2022 12:04:22 PM
Really, “Those born after 2000 may be the first generation of Canadians who don't outlive their parents,” are you kidding me?!! Put more water fountains in malls and bring in glass bottles. Plastic bottles are all about the bottom line just so that they won't have to wash and recycle glass bottles also, they are easier to transport. Who needs bottled water anyways, carry your own water! Cheaper and cleaner! Just make sure u wash ur containers though!
Posted by: Ricardo | Feb 26, 2022 12:20:46 PM
Educate the Food Industry. make them to refund empty Plastic containers used by Nestle,Coke,Heinz etc etc. this will help.
Posted by: Randy | Feb 26, 2022 12:23:39 PM
How stupid are we? If you drink any municipally treated water you are consuming substantial amounts of chlorine. That is the same chemical we use to kill bactiria, germs and other organisms in the water we drink, water in our pools etc... If it will kill all of these organisms why would we put something like that in our bodies, last time I checked the human body is an organism. Perhaps the increasing cancer rate may have something to do with the increasing usage of chlorine in our water. I am lucky to live in an area where I get my water from my own well and I for one will never drink chlorinated water and will do whatever is neccessary to drink bottled water wherever I go!