Nashville, TN Stop Purchasing, Consuming and Serving Bottled Water
Status: Introduced on 12/16/08
RESOLUTION NO. RS2008-589
A resolution requesting all departments and agencies of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County to stop purchasing, consuming and serving bottled water.
WHEREAS, Americans on average drink an estimated 30 gallons of bottled water each year; and
WHEREAS, the global consumption of bottled water has increased dramatically in recent years, with sales volumes measured at 41 billion gallons in 2004, up 57 percent from the previous five years; and
WHEREAS, the local popularity of bottled water persists despite the fact that it costs exponentially more than the tap water provided by Metro Water Services -- more than an equivalent volume of gasoline. Indeed, for just $0.88 -- less than the cost of one single-serve bottle of water -- Metro Water Services can provide 328 gallons of water; and
WHEREAS, buying bottled water reinforces the view that water is a commodity to be privatized and sold for profit, instead of the principle that water is a public resource and a common good; and
WHEREAS, water in Metropolitan Davidson County is pure, clean, abundant, delicious, fluoridated and affordable to all our citizens and has more stringent regulatory requirements for testing than bottled water; and
WHEREAS, bottled water often travels many miles from its original source with nearly one-fourth of bottled water products crossing national borders before reaching consumers; and
WHEREAS, bottled water is a heavy commodity, so its delivery to market requires the burning of massive amounts of fossil fuels, releasing CO2 and other pollutants into the atmosphere; and
WHEREAS, tap water is provided through an existing energy-efficient infrastructure at a fraction of the cost; and
WHEREAS, bottled water is packaged in single-serve plastic bottles which, according to the Container Recycling Institute, requires more than 47 million gallons of fossil fuels to produce per year -- the equivalent of one billion pounds of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere; and
WHEREAS, plastic water bottles are one of the fastest growing sources of municipal waste; and
WHEREAS, the Earth Policy Institute estimates that 86% of used water bottles in the United States end up as garbage or litter instead of being recycled, and the petroleum-based plastics used for most water bottles requires an estimated 1,000 years to biodegrade while leaking toxic additives, including phthalates, into the groundwater; and
WHEREAS, the state of Tennessee does not currently impose deposit fees or bottle recycling incentives to discourage inappropriate disposal of water bottles; and
WHEREAS, pervasive marketing by the bottled water industry has caused consumers to lose faith in the quality of municipal water supplies, and such marketing has suggested that bottled water is safer than better-regulated, pristine tap water delivered by local governments to their residents; and
WHEREAS, the U.S. Conference of Mayors has adopted a resolution calling for the examination of bottled water’s environmental impact, noting that $43 billion per year is spent by U.S. cities to provide clean drinking water in cities across the country, and that “the United States’ municipal water systems are among the finest in the world”; and
WHEREAS, the Nashville law firm of Bass Berry & Sims has set an example for private companies by eliminating bottled water from its premises; and
WHEREAS, up to 40% of bottled water on the market comes from municipal water systems anyway, yet the bottled water industry generated $15 billion in revenues in 2006 from U.S. consumers; and
WHEREAS, 1 billion people around the globe lack access to safe and reliable water sources while an estimated $100 billion spent on bottled water could be more appropriately dedicated to resolving this dilemma.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE METROPOLITAN GOVERNMENT OF NASHVILLE AND DAVIDSON COUNTY:
Section 1. The Metropolitan Council hereby goes on record as requesting that all departments and agencies within the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County neither purchase with city funds nor serve single-serve commercial bottled water for any reason unless an employee contract specifies usage, or in times of emergency and times when municipal water is unavailable; and that bottled water no longer be served at functions sponsored, funded, or conducted by the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County. Eliminating spending on bottled water will save the city money, show support for local tap water and reduce the costs of disposing of the plastic waste.
Section 2. The Metropolitan Council further goes on record as urging all citizens and businesses of Davidson County to forsake further purchases of bottled water and to opt instead for the pure, clean, abundant, delicious and fluoridated water efficiently distributed by the Metropolitan Water Services Department of Nashville and Davidson County, Tennessee.
Section 3. The Metropolitan Clerk is hereby directed to send a copy of this Resolution to all Metropolitan Government department heads and the executive directors of Metropolitan Government boards and commissions.
Section 4. This Resolution shall take effect from and after its adoption, the welfare of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County requiring it.