Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Water bottles - A letter to the Editor and a response.

Vernon Morning Star

Published: June 12, 2011 1:00 AM

I read with interest the article written by Richard Rolke in the May 15 edition entitled, “Fountains reviewed for recreation facilities.”

Mr. Rolke quotes Greater Vernon Advisory Committee director Gyula Kiss as stating that, “the overwhelming majority of bottles end up in the lan
dfill and pollute the environment.” This is incorrect.

According to industry steward Encorp Pacific, more than 75 per cent of plastic beverage containers, including bottled water, were diverted from landfill in B.C. last year. We have no objection to the installation of water fountains on municipal property, as long as they are maintained to public health unit standards. Why? Bottled water does not compete with tap water. It competes with other bottled beverages. About 70 per cent of Canadians drink both. They drink tap water at home and consume bottled water away from home.

GVAC director Mike Gavinchuk had it right when he said, “Why should we dictate to people how they drink water?”

The fact of the matter is that Vernon residents have the legal right to purchase and consume bottled water wherever they may be, unencumbered by well-meaning but misinformed environmental activists, some local elected representatives and competing commercial interests.

John Challinor,
Director of corporate affairs
Nestle Waters Canada


Mr. Challinor takes exception to my remarks at a GVAC meeting in a letter to the Editor (Morning Star, June 12, 2011, attached for reference). He questions my statement that “the overwhelming majority of bottles end up in the landfill and pollute the environment.”

Perhaps he is right in the proportion of un-recycled plastic bottles. However, even if he is right we loose an entire annual production of bottles every four years. Where do those bottles go? Landfills, ditches, lakes and even to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

The debate was about eliminating the sale of bottled water at GVAC facilities and providing an alternative source of drinking water through reinstatement of once popular drinking fountains. While we can’t save the World we can do our part to reduce our share of pollution. Local politician do have the right of regulating what is sold at their facilities.

Is there an environmental cost to producing a plastic bottle for a single use? You decide! Here is another link to help you in your decision.



1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If this was a garbage or recycling or environmental issue, we should ban all bottled beverages and all single use containers from our facilities.

But it isn't, so we won't.

If this was a health issue, we should ban all non-healthy beverages and food in our facilities.

But it isn't, so we won't.

So what kind of issue is this? A non-issue to distract from the real issues.

Coldstream Ratepayers News! All Coldstream residents are ratepayers!

The opinions expressed by "Coldstreamer" are strictly his own and do not represent the opinions of Coldstream Council!

Because I value your thoughtful opinions, I encourage you to add a comment to this discussion. Don't be offended if I edit your comments for clarity or to keep out questionable matters, however, and I may even delete off-topic comments.

Gyula Kiss


We must protect our rights and freedom! (Photo courtesy of D. Gibson) Click on eagle to watch EAGLECAMS

About Me

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I have been a resident of Coldstream since 1976. I have had 15 years of experience on Council, 3 years as Mayor. As a current Councillor I am working to achieve fair water and sewer rates and to ensure that taxpayers get fair treatment. The current direction regarding water supply is unsustainable and I am doing all I can to get the most cost effective water supply possible.