For immediate release: June 8, 2017
Statement from Environmental Defence’s Ashley Wallis on Ontario’s approved increased fees for water bottlers
Toronto, Ont. – Today’s announcement that Ontario has approved increasing water-taking fees for water bottlers is good news. The previous fee of $3.71 per million litres was far too low, and meant that Ontario only recovered a fraction of the costs associated with monitoring and managing Ontario’s groundwater.
At $503.71 for a million litres of water, the new fee is the highest water-taking fee in Canada, albeit still a drop in the bucket at just over 0.05 cents per litre. Hopefully this new fee is sufficient to enable Ontario to invest in the science and monitoring needed to safeguard the province’s groundwater.
However, more still needs to be done to address the issues that come with bottled water. In all but a few cases, bottled water is unnecessary in Ontario. This province has some of the cleanest and safest tap water in the world. Also, the plastic bottles are polluting our environment, including our rivers, lakes and streams.
More than 10,000 metric tonnes of plastic end up in the Great Lakes every year. A significant source of this pollution is single-use plastic bottles, like water bottles. In Ontario, about 1.5 billion bottles end up in landfills or littered in the environment annually. The province can address this by putting a deposit on plastic bottles similar to what’s already in place for beer and liquor bottles.
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