Today, protesters delivered 515,000 signatures on a petition to Nestle’s headquarters in Downtown Los Angeles telling Nestle to get out of town. Here are 10 good reasons why the nation’s number one water bottler needs to go:
1. California is facing the 4th year of a record drought. With water reserves disappearing, the public faces mandatory 25% conservation restrictions on water usage. Why should Nestle be allowed to take our water for its bottled water business? U.S. Forest Service officials say they are investigating “long-expired permits that Nestle has been using to pipe water out of national forests to use for bottled water.”(Source: The Desert Sun)
2. Drinking water is a human right under California law and our public right to drinking water must be the priority over corporate profiteering of our water supply.
3. Bottling water wastes water. It takes 3 liters of water to produce 1 liter of bottled water (Pacific Institute)
4. Bottling water wastes oil. Plastic is made from fossil fuels. If you fill a plastic bottle with liquid so that it is 25% full, that’s roughly how much oil it took to make the bottle. For a single-use disposable item, that’s a lot of waste. The production of water bottles uses the equivalent of 17 million barrels of oil a year. As we suffer yet anotheroil spill off our Santa Barbara coast, threatening wildlife and our food chain, it is important to remember that plastic is the biggest oil spill into our environment everyday as plastic pollution. Plastic bottles are the number #3 item of the top ten items found, behind only plastic cigarette filters and plastic food containers, around the globe on International Coastal Cleanup Day.
6. Obtaining the fossil fuels to make the plastic bottles through such methods asfracking wastes water and poisons our aquifers.
5. Most plastic bottles are not recycled. They either end up in landfills, leaching dangerous chemicals into the ground, or they enter our streets and environment as litter, much entering our waterways and contaminating our food chain when fish consume plastic.
8. Plastic pollution has entered our food chain and is poisoning us.
9. Instead of allowing corporate profiteers to steal our water, California must invest in our public water system to ensure clean safe drinking water and develop the availability of nonpotable grey water for non-drinking water purposes.
10. Turn on your tap and carry a reusable bottle for your health and the health of our planet.
For more information on plastic bottled water see:
Tapped, a documentary about the bottled water business
WeTap, Supporting Public Access to Tap Water
5 Gyres, Fighting to Eliminate Plastic Pollution in our Oceans
Food & Water Watch, for all you need to know about safe drinking water
(This article originally appeared on The Huffington Post in March 2015. It has been reprinted here with permission.)