New bill could prohibit water bottling operations in Washington State
The bill, which states bottled water is harmful to environment, has been condemned by the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA), which claims that the bill lacks fact and is not based on sound scientific sources.
Washington State Senate has declared that the use of water for the commercial production of bottled water is harmful to public welfare and interest, and the state could become the first in the US to prohibit companies from bottling water from local water sources.
The ruling (Senate Bill 6278) from the Washington State Senate is subject to approval from representatives. Under the terms of the ruling, the category includes water that is labelled or marketed for sale as ‘water’ in containers including plastic and glass bottles. ‘Spring water’ and ‘enhanced’ waters are also included in the category.
The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) has condemned the announcement, claiming that the bill is based on false information. “Washington State Senate Bill 6278 is based on the false premise that the bottled water industry is harming the environment. The proponents of anti-bottled water efforts, such as this one, use emotionally charged arguments that are not based on facts or sound science,” read a statement released by the association.
IBWA claimed that the bill is ignoring important facts and statistics, including:
- “Bottled water is the healthiest packaged beverage and any actions to discourage people from drinking this safe, healthy, and convenient product are not in the public interest. This is particularly important as the US is faced with increased rates of obesity and diabetes.
- “Bottled water is just one of thousands of packaged beverages sold in plastic containers in the US that has water as its main ingredient
- “It has the smallest environmental footprint of all packaged beverages1. Even with continuing growth and increased consumption, bottled water still has the smallest water and energy use footprint of any packaged beverage. On average, only 1.39 litres of water and 0.21 mega joules of energy are used to produce 1 litre of finished [rpduct (this includes the one litre of water consumed)
- “The industry has been a strong and vocal supporter of comprehensive state water resource management legislation. However, these laws and regulations must be comprehensive, science-based, multi-jurisdictional, and not target just one industry
- “Bottled water helps people reduce their consumption of less healthy packaged drinks2, which may contain calories, sugar, caffeine, artificial colours/flavours, and other ingredients. In fact, a recent Harris Poll found that 74 percent of Americans3 say they would drink a different, less healthy packaged drink if bottled water is not available
- “it plays a vital role in disaster relief. And importantly, it can only be available in times of emergencies if the industry is strong and viable throughout the year
- ” Most bottled water is consumed in the region that it is produced. Trucking or shipping water great distances is very expensive and is not part of most companies’ business models
- “PET containers are the most recognised and most recycled containers in curbside programmes, making up nearly 55 percent of the PET plastic collected.”