Thursday, June 24, 2010

On the water wagon

Article about the ongoing success of the 'Bundy on Tap' project and the worldwide influence it is having including the announcement of city "bottle filling stations".

from an article by RICHARD FOX
20 Jun, 2010 04:00 AM

WHEN businesses in the small Southern Highlands town of Bundanoon stopped selling bottled water last year, they did not expect the reaction the decision received.
The town instantly shot to worldwide fame, with Bundy On Tap campaign founder and local businessman, Huw Kingston, being interviewed by the likes of the BBC, CNN and The New York Times.

Almost eight months on from that decision, the campaign is still influencing attitudes to environmental water concerns.

“I knew it was a story for NSW, but I didn’t think it would do what it has,” Mr Kingston said.

“The town has always been a can do town and there’s a feeling that this has put it ahead of itself.”

Twenty retailers in Bundanoon stopped selling bottled water in late September as the Bundy on Tap campaign was switched on, with reusable water bottles – selling from $4 – sold in their place.
Water fountains were also erected throughout the town centre, providing free, clean drinking water to residents.

“Something as basic as water should be free,” said Bundy On Tap project manager, Sandra Menteith.

“It’s a project that just makes commonsense and people realised that.”

Thanks to the worldwide attention it received, the Bundanoon scheme has influenced decisions across the globe. In Canada, 71 municipalities in Nova Scotia have banned bottled water from State-owned buildings, while the UK city of Peterborough will do so from 2013.
In NSW, the South Coast town of Milton installed its first water bottle filling station in April, and another is planned in the nearby town of Kangaroo Valley later this year.

Jumping on the water wagon, the then State Premier, Nathan Rees, stopped sales of bottled water from all Government buildings a day after the Bundanoon vote. It was Manly Council in August, 2008, that became the first in Australia to provide water bottle filling stations in a bid to cut down on bottled water and its waste.

The first big test of the Bundanoon scheme was passed with flying colours in April, when 15,000 visitors descended on the town for the annual Bundanoon Highland Gathering.

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