You are here[Salt Lake City Mayor] Rocky [Anderson] targets waste of bottled water

[Salt Lake City Mayor] Rocky [Anderson] targets waste of bottled water

By karl - Posted on 18 December 2006

Doug Smeath - Deseret Morning News 

Rocky Anderson is taking his fight for a more eco-friendly Salt Lake City to a new enemy: bottled water.

In a letter sent to members of his cabinet last month, the mayor asked that departments stop handing out bottled water at meetings and interoffice events.
The letter does not rise to the level of an executive order or a new policy. Rather, it asks for voluntary cooperation.

"The environmental impacts surrounding the production, shipment and disposal of bottled water do not fit within the city's goal to conduct itself in an environmentally sustainable way," Anderson wrote.

According to his letter, more than 1.5 million barrels of oil are used to produce the plastic bottles for individual-serving water each year. A number of environmental Web sites corroborate that figure.

"Add to that the tremendous amount of fuel needed to transport it from the bottling line to the store shelf, and it is clear why bottled water has been described as the most inefficient method for transporting water in human history," he wrote.

He cited a study by the Container Recycling Institute reporting that eight of 10 plastic water bottles end up in landfills rather than being recycled. There is no reason to use bottled water, Anderson wrote, in places like Salt Lake, where tap water is safe and clean.

Not to mention cheaper. Anderson's letter estimates water is up to 10,000 times costlier when delivered by bottle rather than by tap.

The letter encouraged department heads to invest in water pitchers and reusable cups so that staff members can easily drink tap water in meetings. E-mail: