In what may be the first ban of its kind in the world, a rural Australian town has banned plastic water bottles.
Campaigners in Bundanoon (population 2,500) in New South Wales, were incensed after a beverage company proposed plans to tap an underground reservoir in the town, then bottle and sell the water.
Over 350 residents turned out to vote for the measure. Only 1 resident voted against the ban, along with a representative from the bottled water industry.
One campaigner, John Dee, told the BBC,
The company has been looking to extract water locally, bottle it in Sydney and bring it back here to sell it. It made people look at the environmental impact of bottled water and the community has been quite vocal about it.
We believe Bundanoon is the world’s first town that has got its retailers to ban bottled water. We haven’t found it anywhere else.
Now, all local businesses will stop selling plastic water bottles.
The move was much celebrated by environmentalists, who pointed to the incredible amount of trash plastic water bottles create.
BBC reports that locals won’t be too harsh on tourists if they ignore the ban and bring their own plastic water bottles within city limits. But they’ll encourage them to fill reusable bottles from the town’s public water fountains.
The reusable bottles will bear the slogan “Bundy on Tap”.
New South Wales Premier Nathan Rees has also taken up the bottle-free cause. He ordered government departments to stop buying bottled water and switch to tap water.