July 8, 2009

Bottled Water To Be Banned In Australian Town

In a first for the world, an Australian town is about to forbid bottled water to be sold in their town due to worries about their environmental affects.

Bundanoon, a small town with a population of 2,000, is anticipated to vote in favor of banning the bottles at a public meeting.

"At the moment we've got a lot of community support behind it. We're confident the town is going to back it," said activist John Dee to AFP. "We believe Bundanoon is the world's first town that has got its retailers to ban bottled water. We haven't found it anywhere else."

Locals were furious when beverage corporation Norlex Holdings announced their intention to tap an underground reservoir in Bundanoon, haul the water to Sydney and bottle it and send it back to the rural town.

"The company has been looking to extract water locally, bottle it in Sydney and bring it back here to sell it again," said Dee. "It made people look at the environmental impact of bottled water and the community has been quite vocal about it."

Dee, who helped facilitate a plastic bag ban in Coles Bay, Tasmania, hoped the ban would cause people to consider the environmental outcomes of purchasing bottled water.

"It's possible it will extend to other places. 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," he said.

Stores in the New South Wales town have already decided to stop selling bottled water.

Activists say bottling water uses unnecessary plastics and fuel for shipping it. A New South Wales research study noted that in 2006, bottled water companies were to blame for releasing 60,000 tons of harmful gases into the air.