NEWS & MEDIA

Jul 13, 2010

Va. Governor Reverses State Bottled-Water Ban

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Gov. Bob McDonnell has reversed his predecessor's ban on state agencies' and institutions' purchase of individual-sized plastic water bottles.

Then-Gov. Timothy Kaine issued the directive that the state shouldn't buy plastic-bottled water, unless there's an emergency or health reason, as part of an overall government resource-conservation plan. Plastic water bottles are a huge waste source worldwide, and their continued use has been criticized as adding to overall pollution.

But McDonnell scrubbed Kaine's plastic-water-bottle ban, which he thought would harm state bottled-water manufacturers. It's unclear what financial impact, if any, the ban had on such companies.

Chris Saxman, a former Republican member of the House of Delegates, works for his family business, Shenandoah Valley Water Co. The company distributes drinks, including water, and Saxman questioned whether Kaine's ban helped the environment.

The governor did carry over many elements from Kaine's plan, including asking state employees to recycle, turn off lights, and carpool. He also kept a directive that certain building and renovation projects meet water- and energy-conservation standards.

J.R. Tolbert, assistant director for the Sierra Club's Virginia chapter, applauded McDonnell for keeping the building standards as well as the goal of reducing annual energy use by fiscal year 2012.

But he strongly criticized the reversal of the bottled-water ban, and said it runs counter to the conservation plan's emphasis on reducing, reusing and recycling waste.

"Plastic water bottles are a major source of waste, not just in Virginia but across the country and across the world," he said. "What we should be doing is looking at ways to save money and utilize resources and not add new waste to the stream."

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Information from: Richmond Times-Dispatch, http://www.timesdispatch.com

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The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) is the authoritative source of information about all types of bottled waters. Founded in 1958, IBWA's membership includes U.S. and international bottlers, distributors and suppliers. IBWA is committed to working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which regulates bottled water as a packaged food product, and state governments to set stringent standards for safe, high quality bottled water products. Additionally, IBWA requires member bottlers to adhere to the IBWA Bottled Water Code of Practice, which mandates additional standards and practices that in some cases are more stringent than federal and state regulations. A key feature of the IBWA Model Code is an annual plant inspection by an independent, third party organization.

For more information about IBWA, bottled water and a list of member‚ brands, please contact
Chris Hogan, IBWA‚ Vice President of Communications at 703-647-4609 or chogan@bottledwater.org.

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