– Thanks to the POLARIS INSTITUE for sharing this news:
June 8th 2011 – The government of Manitoba announced that its offices and departments would not be allowed to spend money on single-use bottled water where tap water is readily accessible. Over the last five years, the government had spent an estimated 700,000$ on purchasing bottled water. With this newest initiative in the nation-wide push-back against the bottled water industry, Manitoba becomes the 2nd province to implement a similar policy, following in the footsteps of Nova Scotia.
The pressure is on and sales are going down in Canada and North America for the bottled water industry. Many lobbying efforts have been deployed by the industry to limit these initiatives, with Swiss multi-national Nestlé in the lead. Nestlé’s national spokesperson has been travelling the country to oppose policies like the one passed in Manitoba yesterday. Nestlé regularly publishes op-eds and letters in local papers, and engages in debates with even the youngest opponents as we saw on Monday when the company took on middle school students in a debate in Estevan, Sasktchewan.
Despite these renewed efforts to limit the push-back against bottled water, there are now 2 provinces, 85 municipalities, 13 campuses and 7 school boards nation-wide who have passed similar resolutions to promote tap water and restrict the purchase and sales of bottled water.
The tide has turned for the bottled water industry thanks to efforts by dedicated community members, students and faith groups across the country.