August 27th 2009
Letter: Ban call spreads to bottled water
With huge support for the Magnetic Island State School students petition to ban plastic shopping bags on Magnetic Island being expressed over the last week, another suggestion, to rid the Island of another product deemed wasteful and unecessary, namely bottled water, has been raised in a letter from Horseshoe Bay resident John Becker.
John Becker writes:
I recently heard that the town of Bundanoon in NSW has banned bottled water because of its high carbon footprint.
Considering what's happening on the island with Solar City and sustainable tourism, how about giving it a go on Magnetic Island (ie tap water is good)?
Further to this the carbon footprint is high because in the manufacture of the plastic bottles, even if recycled, energy is still used in the process. Transportation of bottled water from all over the state/country/world to arrive here on this island and transportation of empty bottles off the island uses energy (ships/trucks/rail).
The amount of rubbish created by the dumping of non-biodegradable plastic bottles, all of which could be reused a number of times, is huge. There are suitable metal and plastic bottles (designed for multiple re-use) readily available at many retail outlets which last for years (e.g. army water bottles) which can be filled with potable safe tap water or rain water.
Sure, fluorine is toxic, but so is sodium and chlorine (used as a war gas in WWI) but sodium and chlorine combined are common salt. Potassium chloride is also in water. In water, fluorine, like chlorine, is a halogen and is a non-toxic salt. Of course too much is dangerous as is too much common salt.
Cooling water is an option, but water is water and our physiological needs are met by water regardless of temperature.
Bottled water in retail outlets, kept refrigerated for weeks, must cost, as I understand the mark-up to make a profit is at best marginal. So retailers may also like the removal of bottled water allowing more space for more profitable products.
A final comment, tap water, from public drinking fountains, and rainwater are FREE
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