That sounds pretty stupid, doesn't it? However that is exactly what is happening to another resource that all people must have to survive on this planet—water. Bottled water. It's all over the place—for a fee. Where does it come from?
Norlex Holdings in Australia plans to bore into the water resources of the small town of Bundanoon. They'll take the water to Sydney by truck, then bottle the water in Sydney, and truck it to stores to sell it for a profit. All this in a country where tap water is readily available and basically the same as what's in the Norlex bottle.
The town of Bundanoon wants to stop Norlex. Although they have been protesting for quite some time, they recently decided to try a new strategy. They banned bottle water. They are promoting Bundy on Tap. Visitors to the town are encouraged to fill their own container with delicious Bundanoon tap water.
Here is an excerpt from th Bundanoon website:
"The Norlex water extraction issue has galvanized our local community like no other issue in recent times. Norlex plans to truck water to Sydney for bottling and sale at great profit to them but no economic or social benefit to Bundanoon. This, along with much recent media coverage, got some us of thinking. Could we make Bundanoon Australia's First Bottled Water Free Town?"
"One of the Directors of Norlex told me that they wanted to put Bundanoon on the map. On the map for all the wrong reasons. On the map for our part in an industry that, by any measure, represents all that is wrong with consumerism and marketing. An industry that Clean Up Australia has described as a global environmental disaster and that was described by the Sydney Morning Herald as ‘The New Social Poison'. There is even Calm; bottled water for dogs infused with flower essences."
• Some 400,000 barrels of oil annually are used to manufacture the plastic that goes into the bottles that slake Australia's thirst for bottled water
• Only 30% of these bottles are recycled
• In 2008 Australians were expected to spend more than $450 million on packaged water
• The average price of bottled water is $2.53/litre against 1 cent/per litre for tap water
• The beverage industry loves bottled water because the costs of producing it are minimal. Just think of the ingredients in bottled water!
• We in Bundanoon have a fine product called Bundanoon Natural Tap Water!"
"How about we put Bundanoon on the map for some good reasons? How about we make Bundanoon Australia's First Bottled Water Free Town. It would offer so many positives for the town. Showing we care about our local environment and the global environment, reducing the landfill contribution of plastic bottles, reducing littering of our town and very importantly it would add to the positive image of Bundanoon. An image of a friendly place to live or visit, a great place to walk or cycle, a Tidy Town with an active, concerned community."
Read the recent BBC News article about Bundanoon.
This blog offers an alternative opinion on the motivation of the townspeople of Bundanoon. Judge for yourself.
Don't know where Bundanoon is? Check out this map.