Today the Ontario government denied Nestlé’s request to test the water at their newly purchased Middlebrook well in the township of Centre Wellington.
Earlier this fall, Ontarians were outraged to learn that water bottling giant Nestlé had outbid a small Ontario community for access to the Middlebrook well for “future business growth.” Since then, the province proposed a regulation that would ban new and expanded water bottling operations in Ontario – including permits to test water for future water bottling opportunities. The comment period for the proposed ban closed yesterday, and today’s actions suggest that Ontario is serious about rewriting the rules for water bottlers.
Without the permit, Nestlé will not be able to run tests to check whether the well is a good one for water bottling. Given that the new ban will block their ability to take water from Middlebrook for at least the next two years, this could be the first step in dismantling Nestlé’s claim to the well.
Tell Ontario you support new rules for water bottlers by signing our petition.
The two-year ban is a great first step toward fixing Ontario’s rules for water bottlers. The next steps are:
- New rules for existing facilities to ensure that community access to water is protected
- Increasing the fees water bottlers pay for the water they take (today they only pay $3.71 for every million litres)
- Putting in place a deposit return program for plastic bottles to capture the one billion bottles that don’t make it into the Blue Bin every year.