Bottled water is an environmental nightmare. Those plastic bottles clog up our landfalls and energy is consumed unnecessarily by the processing and transporting of this product.
Finally, some folks are striking back. Even though these folks are in a rural section of Australia, maybe they are starting a movement that will spread worldwide. The residents of Bundanoon voted nearly unanimously last night to ban the sale of bottled water in their town. Earlier in the day, the premier of New South Wales state issued an order that bans all state departments and agencies from buying bottled water. The premier called bottled water "a waste of money and natural resources."
Here's an idea: Instead of selling bottled water, merchants should sell reusable bottles that can be filled with tap water and chilled. We are already seeing a movement to people using reusable grocery bags, but eliminating bottled water can have a far more positive effect on our pocketbooks and especially the environment.
Update: Now comes word that Congress is looking into whether bottled water is as safe for consumption as tap water. It seems that bottled water doesn't have nearly the reporting mechanisms that are required of municipal tap water. For example, municipal water systems have been required to distribute an annual report to consumers since 1999, disclosing the name of their water source and any contaminants found in testing, as well as the potential health effects of those contaminants. A non-profit organization called the Environmental Working Group is recommending bottling companies provide detailed information about the source and treatment of their water, just as providers of tap water do.