Washington State could become the first US state to prohibit companies from bottling water from local water sources, after the state’s senate passed a new bill which would ban new permits for water bottling operations.
The ruling (Senate Bill 6278) from the Washington State Senate declared: “Any use of water for the commercial production of bottled water is deemed to be detrimental to the public welfare and the public interest.”
This bill is still subject to approval from the state’s house of representatives, but if passed, the prohibition of water bottling operations would retroactively apply to permits filed after 1 January 2019.
Under the terms of the ruling, “bottled water” includes all water that is labelled or marketed for sale as “water” in containers including, but not limited to, plastic bottles, glass bottles, jugs, or similar containers.
The ruling states that the term bottled water “also includes the category of bottled waters known as spring water or “enhanced waters,” but does not include any other product made from water that is not marketed as “water.”
If passed, the bill would prevent water company Crystal Geyser from building a new bottling plant in Lewis County, Washington, which would have been capable of packaging about 400 gallons of bottled water a minute.
The move to introduce the bill has been condemned by the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA).
Jill Culora, vice-president of communications at the IBWA, said: “Washington State Senate Bill 6278 is based on the false premise that the bottled water industry is harming the environment.
“The proponents of anti-bottled water efforts such as this one use emotionally charged arguments that are not based on facts or sound science.
“From the perspective of water management programmes, the bottled water industry should be treated no differently than other beverage, food processing and manufacturing operations.”
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