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The Banning of Bottled Water

The Demise of Bottled Water
Why we like this:
Because of all the things that are emblematic of the halcyon days of the 1983-2007 economic expansion—McMansions, Hummers, the universal right to a $400 Nylon Handbag—we may look back on bottled water as the most ridiculous craze to overtake our nation
Sources: Guardian, Grist

Gist: The hazards of bottled water, both for our world and our wallets, have been well-known for a while. But now the Australian town Bundanoon is trying an unprecedented move to set the clock back to a simpler and more environmentally-friendly time—by banning bottled water altogether. Boston-based non-profit Corporate Accountability International says that this is the first town in the world that has tried an outright ban on bottled water.

America has already taken a few baby steps to protect us from plastic. Some towns have banned bottled water at civic meetings, for example. But for the U.S., banning bottled water entirely probably won't fly. Americans don't like being told what to do by bureaucrats, and they are especially wary of government mandates (see: universal health care). So our efforts to deal with bottled water will have to be unusual, creative and based on individual choice. Which is why we should follow the lead of a 31-year old British adventurer named David de Rothschild.

According to Grist, the son of one of the world's most powerful families is using his global clout to draw attention to the Plasticki, a ship he built that uses plastic bottles to stay afloat. By creating this environmentally-friendly vessel, he's hoping to draw attention to ways that we can create a new kind of economy that uses and re-uses materials creatively. He's not ready to join the Bundanoon city council though. Instead of railing against plastic, he simply wants us to be smarter about how we use it and dispose of it.

Of course, to truly transform the economy—and quit spending our dollars and carbon on unnecessary luxuries—we'll need people from all countries and of all viewpoints to get their heads together to tackle these problems. And we wouldn't be surprised if Rothschild eventually teams with his fellow environmentalists in Bundanoon—his ship's maiden voyage is a three-month journey to Australia. We're betting that the good folks of Bundanoon wouldn't mind temporarily suspending their ban should Rothschild and his crew bring their plastic-bottle laden ship through the town.

Photo by Aubrey [Raw Angles Photography]


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  • Michael Brown

    Talk about slam-dunk marketing... Kudo's to the geniuses who figured out how to get otherwise regular people to buy into the strong delusion that they would simply collapse from morbid dehidration if they dare stepped outside their homes, away from their cubicles, or engaged in any activity requiring more than 20 paces if they didn't tote along some form of plain, flavored, sparkling or electrolite enhance H2o. Lord knows, humans were barely even able to survive 30 years ago when the only places you could get water on the go were drinking fountains and lawn water hoses. I just don't know how we even made it to the year 2009. (biting sarcasm)

    What a bunch of suckas the general public has become. Now begins the task of surgically removing all those bottles from peoples tightly clinched digits and easily deceived minds.

  • Stacy Holtmann

    Bottled water is like a cigarettes: expensive, bad for your health, bad for the environment, and marketed to perfection. Instead of second hand smoke, we get pollution and lose our water rights. Hopefully, over time using water bottles will be looked down upon in the same way as cigarettes. The plastic water bottle...Who would of thought that such an innocent looking product would cause us so many problems?

  • Michael Lum

    From a marketing perspective, bottled water is pure genius. What more evidence do you need that most decisions to buy are emotional, not rational? Bravo, Bundanoon, for taking a bold step against what is undeniably a dumb product.

    My Blog on Society/Technology:

  • Gareth Wong

    I understand the bottled water industry might not like this, but sadly unless & until they invest in:

    1.) come out with bio-degradable bottles, like this one from CocaCola?

    2.) 'transport' cost & fuel used for doing so is also 'waste of energy & money', some solution will also need to be done, can the water be moved to be 'distributed' to 'reusable' bottles??? like 'differentiated water station'

    divert the money to make universally better would be brilliant.

  • G R

    I don't care if it takes 2 years or 10 years, bottled water needs to be abolished. Why must people buy cases of bottled water for their homes when they have a modern faucet that draws clean, filtered water. Tell me this isn't just "pure" stupidity? Every time I see these clowns loading up their shopping carts with bottled water I laugh to myself and think of all the money I am saving drinking my tap water with lemon. Hahaha!