Should the city boot bottled water from municipal buildings and encourage people to use public fountains?
Ottawa’s planning and environment committee yesterday voted to direct city staff to look at the options.
Somerset councillor Diane Holmes put forward a motion that could eventually prohibit bottled water from being sold in all city-owned facilities, citing the impact of the bottles on the environment.
“We really have to look at bottled water from the creation of the bottle, to the transportation, to the fact that it only takes .5 cents to fill the bottle and then is sold for $1, and then it winds up in the landfill,” said Holmes.
She said big corporations are making huge profits, while their marketing undermines public confidence in tap water.
Richard Girard, a researcher with the Polaris Institute, said that beverage companies have directed their bottled-water marketing campaigns against tap water, making people think that it’s not as safe as bottled water. But he said that city water is tested far more frequently than bottled water, for more that 350 substances.
Peter Hume (Alta Vista) called Ottawa’s water system among the most cost-effective, efficient water systems in the world and said the city should react to ad campaigns that question the quality of city water.
The motion will still have to be approved by council.