Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Bottled water - government minister is right.

Last night's Panorama kicked off a campaign to cut down on the amount of bottled water that we drink in this country.

It is pretty astounding that so much still water is bought when you think that tap water is perfectly fine. When you think about the carbon footprint of bottling the water and then trucking it for miles, its pretty scandalous.

I can see the case for the fizzy stuff. Often you order that as an alternative to lemonade or coke. But still water?

When I go to the gym I simply fill the empty plastic bottle in my bag from the tap. Yet the machine of bottles of water does a great trade - as you can see from the bin next to it.

Phil Woolas, who is an environment minister, has been adding his support to the campaign by Friends of the Earth and others. And I have to say it is a rare case of hearing a government minister and then thinking - quite right.

FOE have identified ways that local councils can help cut down the use of bottled water. In our region apparently Manchester City Council is the biggest spender on this. Liverpool stopped spending on bottled water last year - made a small saving but more importantly helped shrink its carbon footprint.


Tristan said...

So - those who dislike the taste of tap water should be made to drink it anyway?

If you're at a train station and you need a drink you should have to buy a bottle of fizzy drink?

0.008% of our CO2 emissions is a good enough reason to force such changes upon us?

Government should spend less on bottled water, but because they're spending our money taken away from us on an unnecessary luxury not for environmental reasons.

Unfortunately for the priggish neo-puritans taxation on CO2 emissions will not alter the price of a bottle of water by much at all, but that's because hardly any CO2 is emitted per bottle.

PM Swimmer said...

I'd love to know exactly where your Co2 emissions fgure comes from Tristan.

Currently we are not very good at understanding the total CO2 emissions conatined in the whole life cycle of the products we consume.

Seriously trying to get academics to agree on this is like the proverbial discussion amongst economists.

The harsh truth of the matter is we need to make serious changes to our lifestyles and if we want to keep doing some things we damn well better start ditching the things we can live without.

The UK has prefectly good tap water, which is safe clean and is treated in such a way that very very few people can taste the effects of treatement. And if you can then its far more environmentally friendly to use a filter jug than buy bottled water.

That said it would be eaier to stomach these changes if we weren't continually warned about them by jet setting pop stars and craven politicians that wouldn't dare implement any change that conflicted with there 5 year election timeline.

Susan said...

I do not like the taste of my tap water either, but rather than being wasteful and buying bottled water, I bought a water filter. It creates better water than any bottle of water, its less expensive and better for the environment. Get more information about bottled water at www.BottledWaterBlues.com