24 June 2008 20:21 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--The US beverage industry - a key end market for plastic bottles - on Tuesday blasted a US Conference of Mayors (USCM) resolution to end city spending on bottled water.
Bottled water is packaged primarily in polyethylene terephthalate (PET), a lightweight, durable plastic that is 100% recyclable. Critics of the USCM’s resolution say that the action could generate unwarranted fervour against a product that is vital during times of disaster.
"It's disappointing that some mayors find it more important to spend their time attacking a healthy beverage at a time when families are suffering from floods, rising food and fuel costs and threats to their homes and jobs," said Kevin Keane, a senior vice president of the ABA.
The Monday resolution, authored by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, followed actions by at least 60 US mayors to address the budgetary, environmental and social concerns of spending tax dollars on bottled water rather than municipal water.
“This resolution will send the strong message that opting for tap over bottled water is what's best for our environment, our pocketbooks and our long-term, equitable access to our most essential resource,” said Gigi Kellett of the Think Outside the Bottle campaign. She added that, “It's just plain common sense for cities to stop padding the bottled water industry's bottom line at taxpayer expense."
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And while some mayors oppose the use of bottled water by city governments, most gladly welcome bottled water when disaster strikes, the
“It's like being against rope until you need a lifeline," said Keane, who also pointed out the “great irony in the fact that beverage companies are actively helping mayors in flood-ravaged communities in the midwest recover, while a handful of mayors are attacking the water products providing those residents with safe drinking water and good health."
Opponents of bottled water said that cities spend more than $70m (€45m)/year to dispose of plastic water bottles that initially cost some municipalities more than $500,000/year just to purchase.
The recycled plastic from PET water bottles is in high demand to make new plastic bottles, carpeting, winter jackets, clothing and other consumer goods, the
"We're making a positive impact on the environment that goes far beyond politically expedient sound-bites," said Keane, "There's no other consumer products industry doing more to reduce its impact on the environment than the beverage industry."
($1 = €0.64)
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