Banning Bottled Water?

December 9, 2008 at 3:13 pm 9 comments

They say the road to hell is paved by good intentions.

The Toronto Star recently noted the political battlelines drawn around the debate to ban bottled water in Toronto, “Environmentalists claim bottled water commercializes a public resource, undermines faith in Canadian water systems, and sends plastic bottles to the landfills. The bottled water industry counters that environmental groups rig recycling rate numbers and vilify a product that helps combat obesity.”

Last week the vote was cast and the Toronto city council voted to immediately ban the sale and/or distribution of bottled water in City Hall and the city’s civic centres where contracts permit, and ban the sale and/or distribution of bottled water in other city-owned facilities such as arenas and theatres by the end of 2011.

While it’s now illegal to not only sell bottled water, but also illegal to distribute bottled water in city-owned facilities in Toronto, it’s still perfectly legal and acceptable to sell and distribute sweetened waters (translation – soda and fruit drinks).

Afterall, isn’t that really what soda and fruit drinks are – simply sweetened water?

Let me see if I understand this.

Bottled water = bad-illegal

Bottled soda & fruit drinks = good-legal

This vote after Statistics Canada released data that found Canadians consumed more than 95 litres of soft drinks in 2007!

How much more soda and fruit drinks do you think folks will drink now that bottled water is banned?


Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

And So We Begin the Food Stamp Challenge New Yorkers Brace for Double Tax on Sugared Beverages

9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Guru  |  December 10, 2008 at 10:05 pm

    This is a test

  • 2. Eugene  |  December 12, 2008 at 9:06 am

    Oh dear, the unintended consequences of over-legislation. I’m not the biggest fan of bottled water, but if I’m thirsty and I’ve got two bucks, I firmly believe that buying it is a choice I’m capable of making on my own.

  • 3. Sherrie  |  December 14, 2008 at 12:20 am

    Good point Regina!

  • 4. Kelly  |  December 15, 2008 at 1:36 am

    Population control?!

    Pretty soon we’ll only have bottled sugar water and chemically food to eat and we’ll all be in trouble!

  • 5. Mark Whitcombe  |  December 18, 2008 at 2:25 am

    It’s worth putting this legislation in the context of other issues. I’m not so much defending this legislation as trying to give some of the background around it.
    The first is that water-bottling companies are unregulated in Ontario, and there is widespread and valid concern that they are taking so much precious groundwater that our water tables are being affected. This legislation is one attempt to react to that concern.
    The second issue relates to that of garbage and recycling. Toronto is struggling to minimize garbage because we don’t have enough ways to safely and economically dispose of it.
    The third issue is that the municipal water of Toronto is excellent — and that some of the most popular brands of bottled water are, in fact, municipal water.
    I do agree that the sale of highly-sugared and low nutritional beverages should also be curtailed. That’s a good point.
    (BTW, I do not live in Toronto (though I used to work there). I do live in an area that is being adversely affected by water bottlers.)

  • 6. Laura Riddle  |  January 12, 2009 at 3:53 am


    I am a little new to the blogging world (1 week), but, for a long time–1year or so–I have wondered why there is not more discussion of Gary Taubes’ book Good Calories… In fact, every nutritionist I have met/heard has never heard of the book and I got into real trouble suggesting to an inlaw that he should read it. So, I found your blog and thank you for tackling these prickly kinds of things. I plan to follow your blog to see what happens next.
    Also, I wrote a litttle essay about the bottled water issue to satisfy requirements for an online writing course. So, this is a topic I feel very comfortable with.
    Thanks for your blog –

  • 7. Catherine  |  January 20, 2009 at 1:55 am

    Not all water bottling companies are bad. My husband makes plastic bottles for an Ontario water bottling company. They distribute through out Canada and the US. They are very environmentally conscious and have done all they can to make their bottles better.

    In five years they project to be carbon neutral!

    They have made water bottles to be: Thinner plastic (less plastic used for packaging), biodegradable ( no – one bought so they stopped making them), tetra pack which is made out paper, and now they have just installed lines to create bottles out of %100 post consumer recycled plastic.

    Since their market has grown they have also opened up other plants so their shipping distance is not so far.

    A few years ago they won an environmental award ( don’t recall the name) for their hard environmental work. They also contribute by planting trees every year.

    There are companies that use much more water than a water bottling plant.

    In my grocery store there is a greater selection of pop and juices in all kinds of plastic and cans. Too bad there is not such an outrage to ban them.

  • 8. Mike T Nelson  |  March 3, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    Wow, it is getting down right scary out there! That makes no sense at all.
    Thanks for the update
    rock on
    Mike T Nelson

  • 9. lezlee  |  April 23, 2009 at 11:48 am

    Great points! It’s sad when you really think about it! I want my choice!

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