Despite now being a staple of modern life, bottled water is still a relatively recent invention. And its popularity has exploded in recent years, with sales more than doubling in the last decade alone.
Yet as we become increasingly aware of the environmental impacts of our consumption, bottled water is earning a bad rap—and one Australian village has prohibited it altogether. Tiny Bundanoon, a tourist-trafficked village one hundred miles outside of Sydney, elected to ban the sale of bottled water within its borders.
The town will no longer allow any single-use bottles, citing the strength of their own local water supply and the environmental toll of producing plastic containers for a single drink. Unlike other parts of the world, where bottled water may be the only safe water on the market, Bundanoon residents can drink tap water without worry.
As Reuters reports
, Australia spends more than half a billion dollars on bottled water each year. Proponents of the measure cite the dramatically lower cost and carbon footprint of simply refilling reusable bottles. The other side, however, claims that without the option of purchasing water, consumers will simply reach for a soda or juice instead—choices with just as much environmental impact, and generally less healthy, as well.
Clearly, there is no harm in considering the consequences of our purchasing habits, and striving to cut back where and when we can. But whether any more towns are ready for outright bans—that remains to be seen.
Photo from Muffet on Flickr