Editorial: Bottling garbage

I bought two large bottles of water this summer, on my way out of town to go camping.

It was a strange feeling, purchasing water. It isn’t something I have done in a long time. I have always had vessels to fill and bring with me, but my forgetfulness got the best of me that day.

While checking out the label, to make sure the water we were going to consume came from a semi-ethical company, I received strange looks from my fellow camper.

I’m that type of person that won’t buy a coffee if I didn’t bring my own cup. I bring my own bowls and plates to businesses downtown to fill up for lunch. I will juggle my groceries from the store to avoid using single use plastic bags. And, I have a collection of reusable straws at home.

There are some environmental practices we just can’t avoid, like the fossil fuels used to make reusable water bottles, and the gas we put in our cars.

Those two bottles are still in my car, waiting for the next time I forget to stock up on water. They can be refilled at nearly any gas station or restaurant. Most places that sell bottled water also have a tap you can fill up with.

Canada is so lucky to have fresh and drinkable water, for the most part. There are communities in Canada that aren’t so fortunate. In Golden, we have a big, healthy aquifer that the Town of Golden draws their municipal water from.

In Southern Ontario, a community has been actually sucked dry by the big water bottling giant, Nestle.

There are obvious risks involved with allowing such a company to come in and bottle up a natural resource. Ultimately, the province decides to give water rights. In the Town of Golden, a rezoning will be required for a proposed water bottling facility.

The devastating results as seen in Six Nations, Ont. and the amount of single-use plastic going into landfills (trust me, the amount of plastic that doesn’t get recycled is shocking) should be enough to deter anyone from welcoming a water bottling facility.

When we think of a company like this opening up shop in Golden, we expect that it will create more jobs in the community. But, after testing and building are complete, the facility would only create five to 10 positions to run the water plant.

There are a lot of pros and cons to weigh out. I hope people in Golden can do their part to minimize how many single-use plastics they use, and do research into allowing such a facility in our town.

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