Erin's blog immediately below about the tap versus bottled water debate in Singapore (here
) reminded me that Bundoon (just out of Sydney) recently banned the sale of bottled water (see a range of stories here
). There, it was local business that decided to pull the product for the sake of the environment and urged people to drink the nearly free and perfectly safe water available from taps (see here
Bottled water is, quite frankly, a mystery to me. I grew up in a remote part of rural Western Australia where we relied on rainwater (runoff from the roof of our house) for all drinking and household use (a taste I've never found in bottled water, by the way). I didn't know water was sold in bottles until the mid-70s, and it wasn't until I came to Hong Kong in 2000 that I started to see bottled water everywhere.
I can see a case for bottled water where it's not safe to drink (although I once spent three months riding a bicycle from Kathmandu to Colombo in the mid-80s and drank local tap water in hundreds of small towns and villages made safe by the inclusion of a few drops of iodine), but the proliferation of brands is beyond ridiculous these days. Companies make all sorts of claims, but I've never tasted water as good as the water we drank for free on the farm when I was a kid, nor the water you can get from the tap in Streaky Bay
(I've cycled all around Australia and this place has the best water bar none).
I don't know if Bundoon is on the right track banning water in plastic bottles, and I buy the stuff myself in Hong Kong, but I really do wonder if we haven't lost the plot on this one...