I read with interest the article that appeared in the December 9, 2011, edition of The Castlegar Source entitled, “MP wants bottled water banned.”
OP/ED: Nestle Waters takes issue with Atamanenko's bottled-water stance
In the piece, BC South Interior MP Alex Atamanenko based his recent statement about bottled water in the House of Commons on information that has long been confirmed as false — mythology one typically finds on anti-bottled water activists’ websites or in circulars published by the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace.
The federal government purchases bottled water for use by, for example, our armed forces worldwide; those government employees who work in remote locations or in older buildings where lead contamination is present; and native and other populations in Canada’s north and elsewhere across the country where there is no potable water. Last year, there were 1,500 boil-water advisories nation-wide.
Contrary to Mr. Atamanenko’s comments, the recovery rate for plastic beverage containers averaged almost 80 per cent in B.C. last year, according to industry steward Encorp Pacific (www.return-it.ca). The diversion rate was almost 70 per cent nationally last year. The beverage industry is working with governments and consumers across Canada to improve these recycling rates through new and innovative recycling practices like public spaces recycling. For example, a pilot program just concluded in Richmond.
Further, the Province of Nova Scotia has not banned the sale of bottled water in its facilities, as a letter from the Government to me will attest. A copy has been filed with the editor of The Castlegar Source.
If Mr. Atamanenko, local Catholic development and peace chairman Barry Nelson and others wish to protect this valuable resource for future generations, they should give consideration to calling on government at all levels to make water and sewer infrastructure development and maintenance a priority; make residential, commercial, and industrial water takers pay their fair share of the real cost of water consumption; address the inefficient use of water by municipalities, agriculture, and industries; and require treatment of wastewater before it is returned to rivers, lakes, and oceans.
John B. Challinor II APR
Director of Corporate Affairs
Nestlé Waters Canada
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