Bundanoon bottle ban began down under

Posted on | July 18, 2009 | No Comments

THE TOWN of Bundanoon in New South Wales, Australia, became an accidental champion in the crusade against bottled water last week, suggested the New York Times on Thursday. As the Times has it, Bundanoon’s rejection of bottled water began with a bid by a bottling company to tap the local aquifer. From the story:

According to Huw Kingston, the owner of Ye Olde Bicycle Shoppe and a leader of the ‘Bundy on Tap’ campaign, the ban did not begin as an environmental crusade. It started when a bottling company sought permission to extract millions of liters of water from the local aquifer.

16ihtwater2-190At first, residents were upset at the prospect of tanker trucks rumbling through their quiet streets. But as opposition grew, Mr. Kingston said many residents began to question the idea of trucking water about 100 miles north to a bottling plant in Sydney, only to transport it somewhere else — possibly even back to Bundanoon — for sale.

“We became aware, as a community, of what the bottled-water industry was all about,” Mr. Kingston said. “So the idea was floated that if we don’t want an extraction plant in our town, maybe we shouldn’t be selling the end product at all.”

One wonders what a community coming together to reject a bottling plant is if it isn’t an “environmental crusade.”  The implication that Bundanoonians are inadvertent campaigners looks like a straw man set up by the New York Times, and its coyness undermines new depth that the still very good story brings to the Bundanoon ban on the bottle.  To read it,  click on the sign on the tree.

This post has been updated. The headline has been changed.

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