Ontario charges $3.71 per million litres of water taken by water bottlers , on top of a$750 fee for water taken in low to medium risk areas. Wynne wants to increase the charges to water bottlers in the new year. In addition to the fee increases she wants to open up a much larger dialogue on the future of the entire water bottling industry.
Premier Wynne feels raising the fees is not enough, we need to look at the whole water bottling industry, and culture it has, given that most of us don’t really need bottled water. She wants to look at the industry as a whole, and the governments role in regulating it. There are times when bottled water is necessary due to pipe issues or other problems.
The Wellington Water Watchers, a group of water environmentalists in the Guelph area, agree with the price increase, but note that any price hike would not be enough as the profits are so high…and other water use concerns are not addressed.
Water bottling companies have aggressively been marketing healthy bottled water for over 20yrs. The government will have to take back the high ground and promote the safety of tap water. The province must educate the public of the smaller environmental footprint , drinking tap water is good, and bring a reusable bottle with you.
Premier Wynne has imposed a 2 yr moratorium on new permits or expanding operations. Changes to water permits would be limiting to periods of 1-5 yrs, down from a maximum of 10yrs, requirements that the companies weekly report how much water they took vs how much they are allowed to take, and stronger scientific requirements…studies done on the environmental impacts.
Water Watchers Chair Mike Nagy says”..climate change , droughts, carbon emissions, are all tied to this wasteful industry. It should be part of that holistic discussion about people not just rejecting products that are wasteful, but also reconnecting on a personnel level with their water….”
For their part the Canadian Bottled Water Association says that by making it more expensive for the bottlers , it will only be making it more expensive for the public who buy the bottled water product.
I must admit that in looking at what it costs to get the water vs the cost at the store some one is making big money….and then there is the waste plastic that has to be dealt with.