Toronto – Environmental Defence congratulated the Planning and Works Committee of the Region of Waterloo today for taking the first step towards going bottled water free. The Committee voted unanimously today to recommend to council a motion that will see the end of single use bottled water sales in many public facilities.  
Bottled water causes significant environmental damage.  First, the containers are designed for only a single use. Making plastic water bottles requires considerable energy and resources, including water and oil, and the manufacturing process releases harmful air emissions and greenhouse gases.  Once used, the bottles litter our streets and despite recycling efforts, large amounts end up in our landfills.
The cost of bottled water is often over 1,000 times more expensive than tap water, yet the cost to water bottlers who take the water in Ontario is insignificant.  Many of the bottled water brands sell water from municipal water supplies or exhaust groundwater supplies at the expense of other users.
“A growing number of Canadians are recognizing the environmental impacts of bottled water and thinking twice before buying it” said Mike Layton, Project Coordinator for Environmental Defence. “Not only does it destroy the environment, but it takes a toll on our wallets. People don’t need to buy expensive and unsustainable bottled water when there is an excellent source of clean water delivered directly to their kitchen sinks and water fountains.”
Municipal water supplies are rigorously tested for chemical and biological contaminants, while the frequency and testing results for bottled water are concealed and not publicly available. 
Municipalities across Canada are beginning to take action against bottled water. The cities of London, Ontario, St. John’s, Newfoundland and Nelson, British Columbia have all passed similar resolutions and the City of Toronto will be discussing options for curbing bottled water use at public facilities and events later this fall. The Region of Waterloo motion will soon be presented to Regional Council for consideration, but it is expected to pass without difficulty.
“It is refreshing to see municipal governments taking the first step towards going bottled water free,” said Layton. “We hope that cities and town across Canada will take similar steps. It’s easy and sends a great message to Canadians and businesses.”
About Environmental Defence (www.environmentaldefence.ca): Environmental Defence protects the environment and human health. We research solutions. We educate. We go to court when we have to. All in order to ensure clean air, clean water and thriving ecosystems nationwide, and to bring a halt to Canada’s contribution to climate change.
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For more information, or to arrange interviews, please contact:
Mike Layton, Environmental Defence, (416) 323-9521 ext 257; (416) 525-5758 (cell)