Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Two New England states are breaking the bottled water habit

Vermont and Connecticut are looking to pare down some unnecessary state spending by cutting back on bottled water purchases.

"We simply cannot justify this expense in a time when over 700 state positions have been eliminated over the past 3 years," said Vermont State Employee Association spokesperson Conor Casey, at a news conference at the Statehouse in Montpelier. According to state Agency of Natural Resources Secretary Deb Markowitz, Vermont spends more than $200,000 a year on bottled water, though Markowitz concedes that it won't be eliminated entirely.

Some businesses are joining in as well. Sean Ward, co-owner of Montpelier's Coffee Corner, isn't selling bottled water in his diner anymore. He's committed to supporting tap.

"Public water systems are the best way of ensuring people have access to water," Ward told WPTZ TV.

According to New England Cable News network, Connecticut spent $48,000 last year on bottled water. State senator Beth Bye, D-West Hartford, said the use of bottled water sends the wrong message that tap water isn't as good. A spokesman for Nestlé, which bottles water, said he hoped the issue would be discussed in Connecticut before a ban is imposed.

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