COLUMN: Don’t buy bottled water

I recently saw that bottled water was on sale at a grocery store.

I love water. But bottled water in B.C. is an abomination.

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Companies should not be able to take a resource that is available freely as a human right, put it in a bottle and resell it for a profit.

Don’t just ask me. The United Nations has declared that water is a human right.

It’s also worth keeping in mind that B.C. does not charge a massive company like Nestle for the roughly 265 million litres of water it drains and bottles from the province every year.

CBC reported only a nominal ‘access fee’ of $2.25 per million litres of water was to be implemented in 2016.

So, essentially, Nestle and other similar companies are making heaps of cash by taking public resources for virtually no cost whatsoever.

If allowed to follow its course, the next thing that will be repackaged and sold for profit will be air.

Oh wait. That’s already happening.

The National Post reported in 2015 that a company in Edmonton was selling “Rocky Mountain air” to China at $32 per every 7.7 litres.

Now, I would say that a person in China — which is widely regarded to have some of the worst air pollution in the world — might be justified in buying fresh air. Sadly, there is no other option.

But buying bottled water in B.C. is like buying ice while living in Antarctica (though I am aware that with global warming, the Antarctica situation may change.)

I understand that there may be some emergency exceptions where you just HAVE to buy bottled water.

But I’ve also witnessed and known people who buy flats of bottled water and refuse to drink anything else.

This is insanity.

B.C. water straight from the tap is some of cleanest, safest and best-tasting in the world.

When you buy bottled water, you are giving companies an incentive to commodify a resource that should be freely available to all.

As pressures like climate change and overpopulation begin to create water scarcity, this problem will come back to haunt us.

Let me leave you with this quote from the National Post story about the company that’s been selling air.

“As Vitality Air’s marketing materials note, ‘remember the day when people laughed off bottled water?’”

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@ Copyright Squamish Chief

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