Toronto, Ont. – Today’s announcement that Ontario has adopted new rules for water bottlers in the province is good news. Reducing the duration of permit renewal from 10 years to a maximum of five years, implementing mandatory reductions of water takings during periods of drought, and increasing requirements for public and First Nations consultations are all positive steps that prioritize communities’ access to drinking water over corporate profits.
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.
Ontario has already placed a moratorium on new and expanded permits for water bottling. The next step is to finalize a new fee for water bottlers that ensures Ontario can invest in the science and monitoring needed to safeguard the province’s water.
The province also needs to deal with the plastic bottles themselves. A recent study found that more than 10,000 metric tonnes of plastic end up in the Great Lakes every year. One significant source of this pollution is single-use plastic bottles. In Ontario, over a 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 we have for beer and liquor bottles.
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