Last night London, Ont. city councillors voted in favour of banning the sale of bottled water in municipal buildings.

The phased-in ban will take effect Sept. 1 at city hall, Market Tower and the A.J. Taylor building and be extended by the end of next year to other city-owned buildings and facilities, including parks and golf courses, once an adequate supply of water fountains is provided, reported the London Free Press today.

As Canadian Water Treatment reported last week, Nestlé Waters Canada-which produces and distributes 35 per cent of the bottled water sold in Canada-issued a news release that opposed the proposed ban.

Working with its industry partners, Nestlé proposed to pilot a public spaces recycling program in London that would collect plastic beverage containers and other recyclable materials in parks, recreational facilities, restaurants, gas stations and city streets.

But the city refused to budge-only three voters opposed the ban.

“It’s not going to have an effect,” said Elizabeth Griswold, executive director of the Canadian Bottled Water Association, in a phone interview this morning. “I think people will bring their own bottled water or turn to other beverages. There will still be the same amount of plastic from other beverages.”

“As an industry we offered to assist them in improving recycling,” said Griswold. “They chose to go a different route: to ban only bottled water instead of trying to improve recycling.”

Look for more on this debate in Canadian Water Treatment’s September/October issue.


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