San Francisco has just become the first major North American city to ban the sale of single-use water bottles on all public property and city-sanctioned events.
Should Montreal do the same?
The movement to ban water bottles in SF is largely inspired by the environmental damage caused by the packaged water industry. 17 million barrels of crude oil are used to make the 29 billion water bottles sold in the U.S. (a majority imported from Canada), and only 13% of the 29 billion are actually recycled.
We aren't much better. Quebec houses more than a few bottling plants, and Montreal makes some good money re-packaging its own tap water to be sold in bottles (looking at you Aquafina), so should the city even entertain the idea, given how much money it produces? Would Canada let Montreal do this?
With enough backing from the provincial government, a water-bottle free Montreal could be possible. Every province can regulate its own water standards (based on national guidelines), so a ban on water bottles could be pushed and approved by Quebec, and only enforced in Montreal if other cities aren't into it.
Movements to ban water bottles already exist in Montreal, like Concordia's movement for a bottled water free campus, an initiative that elegantly outlines the environmental damages caused by the bottled water industry.
Banning water bottles in Montreal may lose the city some money, but would make for a greener Montreal.
Should Montreal ban water bottles?
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