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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

John Becker

To add your comment,
or read those of others, see below

Letter: Ban call spreads to bottled water
August 26th 2009
So what about Coke, Fanta, Milk etc they all come in plastic bottles what do you suppose we do about those bottles?
Billy T
August 26th 2009
Wow, you islanders are getting so Bolshie these days. And surely you aren't questioning the power of mighty COKE! I hear they own most of the bottled water companies anyway. Reminds me of the scene in Dr Strangelove where he needs change to call the President to avert the nuclear war and shoots up a coke machine to get some and is told, "You will be directly responsible to the Coca-cola company for this!!"
John Becker
August 26th 2009
Monica, I'm talking about WATER (full stop).
August 26th 2009
Noodies on the Beach Latin Bar and Cafe - Horseshoe Bay are pleased to support the end of plastic bottles. Two months ago we stopped the sale of plastic water bottles and now only offer glass water bottles. Profit is less but we think its worth it. We also offer free cold water refills to our diners to reduce the accumulation of plastic bottles. It would be great to work towards a total ban of plastic water bottles on the Island. If we did this it would also encourage the big drink companies to produce a glass water bottle which at present they don't.
August 26th 2009
I've seen with my own eyes people sitting at the rotunda in front of the shops in Horseshoe, get up and walk to the shops to purchase a bottle of water to drink when right in front of them, not ten metres away, is a bubbler and a tap with unlimited, free water. What's inside those bottles? Or, more to the point, what do they think comes out of that tap?
Alan R
August 27th 2009
While bulk supplies of water might be just as well got rid of I wonder if we might lose some of our tourists who have travelled widely in other countries and are suspicious of local water supplies. Perhaps we would need an education campaign.
and, of course, we ourselves always drink water from the town supply.
Jenny Stirling
August 27th 2009
I think this is a great move. The ABC Inventors programme opened my eyes up to how much bottled water creates problems for the environment. I had not given it much thought before because I hardly ever buy bottled water myself. I'm not really sure why- guess I thought it was a rip off and that tap water was ok. So if you must drink filtered water and you want to save the environment, then its either buy the new filter bottle or fill your own reusable water bottles with filtered water from home.
August 27th 2009
It has become almost chic to bash bottled water and I’m not at all sure why. They address the fact that bottled water cost too much. I wish they would use their energies to get me better health care, lower fuel prices or fix the myriad of other problems that to me seem more important. One of the arguments being used is that local water is as good as bottled water, not here in Arizona. I would argue that for most of us our water isn’t quite as good as we think. I just read a report that says, “A widely used pesticide known to impact wildlife development and, potentially, human health has contaminated watersheds and drinking water throughout much of the United States, according to a new report released today by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). Banned by the European Union, atrazine is the most commonly detected pesticide in U.S. waters and is a known endocrine disruptor, which means that it affects human and animal hormones. It has been tied to poor sperm quality in humans and hermaphroditic amphibians. The report reveals that all of the watersheds monitored by EPA and 90% of the drinking water sampled tested positive for atrazine. Contamination was most severe in Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Missouri, and Nebraska. An extensive U.S. Geological Survey study found that approximately 75 percent of stream water and about 40 percent of all groundwater samples from agricultural areas contained atrazine, and according to the New York Times, an estimated 33 million Americans have been exposed to atrazine through their drinking water systems.”
I know bottled water is a problem mostly because of the plastic bottle itself. We decided that with more than 15 billion bottles being produced each year that something needed to be done. Our solution is not the perfect end to all plastic pollution, but we feel it is a step in the right direction. The ENSO biodegradable plastic bottle is made from standard PET plastic with EcoPure G2 additive. Our bottle is designed to biodegrade in a microbial environment leaving behind biogases and humus. We are also promoting the development of a new type of landfill called a “Bioreactor Landfill.” A bioreactor landfill is designed to enhance biodegradation and efficiently capture biogases which are better known as landfill gases (LFG’s). LFG’s are being use to create clean energy. What better use for our garbage then to turn it back into clean energy.
By-the-way, what about all those plastic bottles being used for soft drinks, teas, energy drinks, etc.? I find it peculiar that those companies are getting a pass on the “Ban the bottle campaign.”
“Bottles for a Healthier Earth”
August 27th 2009
Townsville water makes me ill when i drink it , keep bottled water as an alternative to the crap from the tap !
John Becker
August 27th 2009
Max, I am aware of the pollution problems in the northern hemisphere, but this is purely a local issue. The matter of biodegradable plastics is a non sequitur. Transportation costs and refrigeration still leaves a carbon dioxide foot print.
August 28th 2009
Since most bottled water could be more accurately described as bottled tap water I wonder whether the water bottled in Max's listed states of Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Missouri and Nebraska also contains high levels of atrazine. After all, it takes a lot more than 'filtering' to remove chemical traces.
The Coca Cola bottling facility in Townsville (now closed) used to source its "spring water" from a bore in one of the city's private schools on Ross River Road. Being 'natural' water (bore water or groundwater) it contained a noticeable level of salts as do many bottled waters. That seems to be the general idea. I would be surprised if Townsville's tap water had enough 'salts' to make you "ill" but everyone has a limit I guess and there are lots of different sampling and testing methods to prove your point. Also, the city's tap water has a couple of different sources and the piped supplies to various suburbs are subjected to different treatments on the way (and additives like chlorine) depending on distances and reservoir storage times. It's not always a rosey outcome but in my experience Townsville's water (ie. Magnetic Island's submarine supply) is pretty good.
Apart from private garden taps there are very few publicly accessible drinking points around Townsville, especially in parks and playgrounds and of course never within cooee of a shopping centre. Now why would that be?
John Becker
August 29th 2009
Every service station has a tap for car radiators. Their water is the same as that which is provided for households. Fill up your reusable water bottle from there (don't forget to turn the tap off).
David EDE
August 31st 2009
Water is the best thing one can drink in the tropics.Especially as summer comes on. It seems unthinkable that someone wants to band drinking bottled water. If one wants a drink at the Nelly Bay Ferry terminal they will find that the drink fountain is not working (for over 6 months now)

Maybe that is the reason that the TRC has decided not to leave the rubbish bins at West Point (too many empty drinking water bottles). For years hundreds tourists could deposit their empty water bottles, coke cans etc and other containers in the bins that were provided at WEST POINT each week.

I have just opened my mail and the TRC is now charging me over $4400 per year rates for my 32 perch property at West Point. In 1984 I used to pay $60 pa. But at least we had rubish bins for boaties,tourists and campers to use. We are sick of collecting rubbish off our beautiful West Point beaches. You would think that the TRC could at least use the services of one of the locals to take the bins to the dump instead of bowing to the contractor who does not want to drive over our lovely track that wends its way out to West point.

Many deputations have been made to the various Councils over the years to fix things. Jenny Hill told a deputation when her council was in power that West Point was not ready for a dry toilet. We have hundreds of tourists who now have nowhere to wee and poo except on the beach or in front of the houses at West Point.

If there were more bins placed at remote beaches and along the foreshore I am sure that water bottles would not be a big problem.

I hope the anti water bottle brigade realsie that there are many beautiful walks around Magi that do not have water stations and bins before they create too much of a fuss.

David EDE
West Point
John Becker
August 31st 2009
David, I appreciate your concerns about West Point, but toilets and bins are not the issue; it is about water. Reusable bottles are the answer and the wash basins at the ferry terminal provide potable water out of the taps (if the bottle won't fit use a cup to decant into the bottle).
John Becker
August 31st 2009
Just wanted to point out that water from the tap, bubbler, etc is not 'free'. Water is diverted into catchments, filtered, processes, transported etc., which all cost money. Somebody has to pay, whether it's the council or the ratepayers. :-)
John Becker
August 31st 2009
Sonia, thank you, I am aware that water costs; however the amount consumed as drinking water is negligible compared with that which is used in ablutions, gardens, toilets, washing machines etc.
John Becker
August 31st 2009
Ah, those were the days! When you could put ordinary tap water in your car's radiator. Unfortunately John, service stations are about as common around the streets of suburbia as drive-in movie theatres.
Meanwhile, if you are visiting a shopping centre somewhere (anywhere - except Flinders Mall, Townsville), big or small, by car or as a pedestrian, inside or out, you are extremely unlikely to come across a drinking fountain or tap of any description.
Dr Justine Jacob
September 1st 2009
Hear, Hear! John, I hope your suggestion gets the support of not only Island locals but the rest of mainland Australia. I certainly plan to use your letter as a template to send to my own local community.
John Becker
September 1st 2009
Anywhere there is a toilet there is usually a tap and basin for post defecation and micturation available. Malls have these things as do most service stations, cinemas and public parks. As I understand it, the ablution facilities must be there. The taps on the basins pour out potable water (and don't forget to turn them off).
Jack McCain
September 2nd 2009
Is this just another extension of the Greens master plan for Australia? That is where we eat less meat, ride bikes and dope out on legalised drugs. My father fought to keep Australia free, but the white ants from within seem to want to regulate our lives to the point of now trying to tell us what we can and can't drink. South Australia has a wonderful system where food and drink containers all have a 5 cent deposit on them.By this simple step S.A if the most litter free state in Australia. 5c may be a little bit low these days but the deposit amount can be increased to act as an incentive for people to collect and cash in rubbish.
John Becker
September 4th 2009
The issue is about carting and selling water; the containers are being pushed as the main issue. At this stage, I wish I had not called it bottled water. But selling water is the big issue regardless of how it is transported.

We pay 0.69 cents for 1 kilolitre (1 tonne) or $638 for 772 tonnes of hydrogen hydroxide. Yes, 1 litre weighs in at 1 kilogram. Rainfall: 1 mm on 1 square metre is 1 litre. On an average roof of say 150 square metres, 1mm of rain gives 150 litres. These facts are empirical (neglecting evaporation, leaks, clogged gutters etc), but 10 mm give 1500 litres. 1 inch (25 mm approximately) gives 25 litres per square metre.

Why are we buying the stuff? Possible answers: more money than sense; too disorganized, too lazy, have forgotten to take a reusable container, bad preparation for a long walk, stooges of the marketing of multi-nationals etc. etc..

Beer, soft drinks etc are manufactured so we pay. Water is not manufactured but is collected. My message really is to stop buying water, or better still, pay 0.69 cents for 1 tonne of the stuff.
John Becker
September 5th 2009
At this morning's MIRRA (MI Residents and Ratepayers Association) meeting the matter of selling bottled water was discussed and the vandalizing of water bubblers was mentioned.

The meeting agreed to recommend taps to TCC to instal where reusable water bottles could be filled. To this end, I wanted to canvas readers' suggestions where taps could be installed.
The taps suggested would be spring loaded types that turn off automatically, similar to those at Horseshoe Bay and Alma Bay.
The vandalizing of the Nelly Bay tap was possibly because it was more sculpture than function, so future installations would have to have function transcending appearance.

I wouldn't be surprised to see a biochemist employed by multinationasl to condemn our water; but Citiwater does a great job and its important that water be kept out of the hands of private enterprise.
Jack McCain
September 5th 2009
John, you seem to have done a big turnaround since your original letter and the follow-ups. In the beginning you were advocating the banning of bottled water on pollution grounds, both by the disposal of the bottles and the carbon impact caused by their manufacture. You now seem to be rallying against the sale of the water in those bottles.
You claim water is not manufactured but collected. I would disagree with that,as one could say that bottled water is manufactured. It is not straight tap water, spring water or rain water in the bottle, but it has been filtered and purified, even sterilised in some cases.
As for why we buy the stuff, you have missed the most important reason, and that's safety. We trust bottled water to be pure, clean, uncontaminated and safe to drink. It previous posts You have advocated filling reusable drink bottles at such places as the driveway taps at service stations and the hand basins in public toilets. If owned a service station I would take every step possible to dissuade people from filling water bottles at the driveway taps, How could I guarantee there were no contaminants wiped onto the taps while they were being used for their designated purpose? Haven't you heard of the great Australian pastime known as litigation? As for using basin taps in public toilets, I hope you were joking. Then there is water collected in rainwater tanks, When I was young I would drink tank water in preference to tap water anytime. Unfortunately times have changed and so have people. There are now some amongst us who get their kicks from antisocial behaviour such as polluting water tanks in ways better not described. I would never trust tank water that I didn't have direct control over.
I think your problem with bottled water, is not with the bottle, not with the water, but with those you perceive as making huge profits from the sale of bottled water. And that's your reason for wanting a ban.
Doesn't that then make you just as bad as the multinationals you are waging your campaign against.
John Becker
September 5th 2009
Jack, the bottles used are polycarbonate and especially designed for commercial non-reuse. The business of the bottles was the catalyst for starting a discussion but was not intended to be the dominant issue. The transportation of the water then paying for it is the main issue.

That bottled water is filtered, purified and sterilized may or may not be true, and as for quality assurance and control, sampling, testing, batch size, statistical tests etc., none of us have any idea (commercial secret). However, council/government water boards do do this and it is a transparent operation owned by the community and voters. There have even been rumours that bottled water comes straight from the tap without any processing anyway.

Private enterprise does some things cheaper, but not necessarily better. Any dispute with a private contractor providing a product or service will end up in the courts, more litigation. Public utilities are best left in the hands of the people/voters. Potable water supply is a classic example. Perhaps the multinationals could try pure air as a money maker.

Some examples of private enterprise short cuts: Perrier water was contaminated by hydrocarbons at the source; toluene has been mixed into petrol; melamine mixed in milk and pet food to increase protein, all of which were intended to increase profits (their single aim and priority).

I suggest you have a fully trained and authorised bio-chemist sample some bottled water and perhaps you can tell me why bottled water has a “used-by” date? As I understand, pure water cannot degrade unless contaminated by an exterior source, such as the container?

Contaminating taps: most people rinse the sprout before drinking; how about sharing bottled water with others where you are more likely to get a disease from the same species (humans). Lack of water will definitely kill you (a maximum of seven days), contamination probably not. Muddy dam, river, bore etc. water has kept many a person alive.

In the interim, perhaps you could inform me of the location of bottled water sources, the distance travelled to the bottling plant and how transported; pipe line, truck, rail, ship, aircraft. We know that Pellegrini, Perrier and Evian are from Europe, or so we are led to believe.
September 6th 2009
Ah McCain, you're doing it again. There's nothing wrong with tap water from the public font - ask the Romans. And although my personal preference would not be to drink from the sink when I'm washing up in a public toilet or the driveway at a service station, I'm very confident that the last thing we need concern ourselves with is "contaminants wiped onto the taps while they were being used for their designated purpose". The humble hamburger was turned into 'fast food' so that people could eat with their grubby hands and completely ignore your fabulist furphy "the great Australian pastime known as litigation".
Locations for taps? On the public thoroughfare of every shopping centre as part of the planning consent. Put a public phone/recharger/wireless terminal there too (part of the developer contribution).
Jack McCain
September 8th 2009
You seem to have more back flips than the Beijing Olympics.
Quote, "the bottles used are polycarbonate and especially designed for commercial non-reuse."
Actually the larger bottlers all use PET bottles, which are 100% recyclable.Recycled PET bottles can be used to make a range of items including more PET bottles, clothing, bags and much more.
Quote,"That bottled water is filtered, purified and sterilized(sic) may or may not be true"
Glad you left that one open, because it is true,I have seen it with my own eyes , many times.
Quote,none of us have any idea (commercial secret).
Please don't include me in that, I do know ,with first hand experience,
Quote," There have even been rumours that bottled water comes straight from the tap without any processing anyway.
Are you going to base your argument on rumours now , John?
Quote,I suggest you have a fully trained and authorised bio-chemist sample some bottled water and perhaps you can tell me why bottled water has a “used-by” date?
Why should I, when its you who wants to know?
Quote,As I understand, pure water cannot degrade unless contaminated by an exterior source, such as the container?
Yes that statement is true, but no water bottler that I know of sells pure water for drinking purposes. Maybe you could name a product that claims to be pure water?
Quote, In the interim, perhaps you could inform me of the location of bottled water sources, the distance travelled to the bottling plant and how transported; pipe line, truck, rail, ship, aircraft.
Some years ago I had first hand experience with the bottled water industry. I had a truck that was employed transporting deep spring water from just outside Daylesford Victoria to Tullamarine.
There was also a bottling plant at the source at Hepburn springs in Victoria.
John, You have every right to drink water from whatever source you choose, be it muddy dam, a tap in a public toilet, a drinking fountain or a roadside puddle. Just remember other people are entitled to the same rights.If I choose to drink bottled water, I will do so, anytime I like. If You seek to impose your beliefs over my rights, I will fight to the end. Lets face it, Your quarrel is not with bottled water, Its not with the bottles. You are just carrying out a quixotic campaign against the dreaded multi nationals, and you don't care whose rights you tread on in your little campaign.
Jack McCain
September 8th 2009
Chasmac, Your last paragraph pretty well painted me a picture of you.
"Locations for taps? On the public thoroughfare of every shopping centre as part of the planning consent"
What a ridiculous idea. Haven't you ever wondered why councils and shopping centres all use those vandal proof taps (the ones with the splined , removable handle) ? No , I thought not.
My thoughts are that in a perfect world you could have taps every where, and people would use them wisely and responsibly. Unfortunately our world is not perfect, and there are people who would do the wrong thing with your taps galore, therefore the majority of us who would do the right thing are made to suffer for the stupidity of the few.As for your little scoff at my litigation statement, do you have any idea how many people begin legal action against their local council for such stupid things as uneven footpaths and nature strip trees having low branches.
Your last sentence "Put a public phone/recharger/wireless terminal there too (part of the developer contribution)." shows me you too have a bad dose of upward envy.You would love to see spiteful little clauses attached to development permits, right Chasmac?
As I wrote to John, You are free to drink whatever grade of water from whatever source you like. Just don't try to remove that right from others.
John Becker
September 9th 2009
Jack, you have confirmed my suspicions that you have been involved in the bottled water industry, interalia, and I respect your efforts in keeping the industry and your vocation intact.

However, I am trying to get the point across that in the environs where I live, there is absolutely nothing wrong with our water supply and that at 69 cents/kilolitre (7 cents a hectolitre) the cost is stuff all for 5 litres (enough for a couple of days). A well trained, healthy young soldier can only carry two days worth of water before needing resupply from whatever source available.

The goodness of water is that it prevents dehydration and death. Your arguments are based on the negative or harm caused by unbottled water. If you live in a peccant environment, you certainly need your water cleaned (boiled, filtered, disinfected etc).

Bottled water for Magnetic Island is the issue and its banning here only will have no effect on you.

Pure water is used in laboratories, hospitals, medical manufacturing etc. It is called distilled water and is damned expensive.
Jack McCain
September 13th 2009
I understand you were once a teacher. I pity the pupils you taught, if you were as liberal with the facts as you are now. You have made some wild , ridiculous allegations, all of which I corrected in my last post. Instead of trying to defend at least some of your past statements you have gone on to post more fabrications and Irrelevant statements.
Your Quote,Jack, you have confirmed my suspicions that you have been involved in the bottled water industry, interalia, and I respect your efforts in keeping the industry and your vocation intact.
As I said in my previous post, it was many years ago, and it was a contract for one truck, therefore your statement "and I respect your efforts in keeping the industry and your vocation intact" is just a ridiculous smoke screen.
Your next two paragraphs are irrelevant, unless you think we are all little soldiers ,"However, I am trying to get the point across that in the environs where I live, there is absolutely nothing wrong with our water supply and that at 69 cents/kilolitre (7 cents a hectolitre) the cost is stuff all for 5 litres (enough for a couple of days). A well trained, healthy young soldier can only carry two days worth of water before needing resupply from whatever source available.

The goodness of water is that it prevents dehydration and death. Your arguments are based on the negative or harm caused by unbottled water. If you live in a peccant environment, you certainly need your water cleaned (boiled, filtered, disinfected etc).
Your next statement is just pure ignorance,
"Bottled water for Magnetic Island is the issue and its banning here only will have no effect on you."
How do you know that, John? Do you know how much time I spend on Magnetic Island? No, I thought not.
Your last statement is incorrect as well. Distilled water is still not technically pure. Distilled water has had the solids removed but can still have impurities. Pure water is made up of oxygen and hydrogen only.
John Becker
September 14th 2009
Mr McCain, yes I do have a science background, and the language of science is mathematics. To deal with science every hypothesis is put up to be shot down, and experiments must be written in detail so that they can be repeated; if it fails or there are other factors that were neglected it will be shot down. In mathematics every thing is untrue unless there is a rigorous proof, using axioms and definitions to prove it is so. One counter example will destroy the hypothesis or theorem.

My hypothesis is that the Magnetic Island/Townsville water supply is potable. Give me a counter example and the hypothesis is destroyed; I would be delighted if you could shoot me down.

If and when you come to Maggie by all means bring your own bottled water to suffice for you stay, but hopefully you will realise that if we islanders succeed, then bring over your 5 litres per day for you stay, but don’t drink your bath water or shower water.
Jack McCain
September 15th 2009
Well, there's another gold medal back-flip from John.
Should I feel honoured that I have his consent to bring bottled water to Maggie on my next trip? Even though I am restricted to 5 litres per day!
If you check back through my previous posts, John, you will not find any statement that alludes to maggie island water not being potable. My problem is being told what water I can drink .
To put my argument into simple terms John, lets say for example, you like eating SPC baked beans. Freely available at your local supermarket, sitting on the shelf beside the other brands, such as PMU, Tom Piper and Watties.
One day, your local mayor Les decides to ban all other brands of baked beans except "home brand".
You ring Les to complain, only to be told "home brand" will keep a young soldier alive, so get used to it.
How would you like it? Would you tolerate it?
If you answered yes to either question you are beyond help.
I am not going to waste any more time on this thread, as I think it is just going in circles (with the odd back-flip). I am confident you only have a handful of radicals (many words went through my mind here and that's the only one that would be printed) backing your idea anyway.
John Becker
September 15th 2009
Mr McCain, I agree; my various analogies, in an attempt to simplify the idea (you call them back flips), have not worked.
Therefore, to put the idea succinctly;
1. Do not import water onto the island, when we already have it,
2. If you want an alternative type of water, bring it with you, or as a resident of the island, buy it elsewhere
September 16th 2009
There must have been a coup and I missed it.Does anyone know when our new dictator,John Becker assumed command of the island. Is he for real, or is this an ongoing joke? Some people get carried away with their own importance hey
john Becker
September 17th 2009
Booffa, I don't know why I am responding to the comments you are making.
In what way are your rights being taken away? Sale of alcohol is banned in some areas, e.g. Balwyn in Melbourne. Every one accepts this and nobodies' rights have been impinged.
If the majority want the idea, well and good, if not, also well and good. Attacking me (the messenger, not the message) only obfuscates the debate. I'm not important, the issue is.
Your crass comments are somewhat pejorative.
September 17th 2009
You're right Booffa, some people get carried away. I notice that some Americans are on the bottled water case too:

"Bottled water has been banned for San Francisco city workers under an order by Mayor Gavin Newsom, who claims it is too costly, increases pollution and is no better than tap water.
According to the Mayor’s order “In San Francisco, for the price of one 1 gallon of bottled water, local residents can purchase 1,000 gallons of tap water,” saving around $500,000 annually and minimising the use of oil to make the plastic and to transport the bottles.
This news comes at an important time – city officials in March [2007?] already prohibited the use of plastic shopping bags in large supermarkets, due to the inefficiency of the recycling efforts. Is the State going too far, or should we be excited that they are taking the lead?"

Meanwhile, Jack, old mate, there are quite a few 'bubblers' around Townsville - in Flinder Mall for instance - which (quite properly) demonstrate that the Council is not in a panic about litigation. Bubblers have spring-loaded taps (you say "vandal proof") because that is the best way to make them idiot proof. They don't occur inside shopping centres because the owners don't want to disturb any business selling water or soft drink products. So, put them on Council land just outside - at the public bus stop at Stockland for example. We shorten our lives trying to find wasteful ways to use limited resources.
September 17th 2009
John Becker, Pejorative, I love it.Just goes to show I can get meaning into a letter. I was worried I was too low brow for you, and I can see by the big words you use you are trying to show you are smarter than me. Well maybe you are more educated but you seem to have no common sense.
Where did you learn about the Sale of alcohol being banned in Balwyn in Melbourne. I can't find any reference to that.You aren't talking about Balwyn N.T. would you. But your smarter than that cos you use big words.
Every one accepts this and nobodies' rights have been impinged. Do they? have you asked everyone? or is yours the only opinion that matters to you?
September 17th 2009
OK Booffa, you've made your point. Now, where do you stand on bottled water?
September 18th 2009
chasmac, I'm Pro freedom of choice so in this case if someone wants bottled water they have a right to it.
September 18th 2009
So, a price on carbon?
Mick McD
September 20th 2009
Isn't it great to live in a first world country and have issues like this to debate....
Jack McCain
January 11th 2010
Editor, I think it's time to call an end to the online survey. John Becker, should by now realise his dictatorial attitude is not acceptable in a free country. I think the message is quite clear by now, People like the right to choose for themselves what water they drink. Long may we keep the right to make our own decisions.
May 9th 2010
Well it does take 5 bottles of water to make 1 bottle. That can't be good. Water filters are a good option for home/ work. Good on you Noodies!
There is always lots of empty bottles thrown around and not discarded of properly. Why do you want to buy it when it's free anyway? It can cost more than milk!
May 15th 2011
My first visit back to Maggie for 10 years, and I certainly have noticed a marked increase in the plastic rubbish around the island.
Most of this will linger for years, wrapped around trees, clogging up streams, lying on the beach at high tide mark.

My home town of Anglesea banned plastic shopping bags few years ago. It really made a difference- and the pain was minimal. Disposable water bottles are next!
C'mon Maggie- you can do it!

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