The Ban Heard 'Round the World
Concord, Mass could end up sparking another shot heard around the world. Well, maybe not a shot – more like a court decision. The town is in the middle of a huge debate over whether or not it’s legal to ban the sale of bottled water there. At the heart of the issue sits 82-year-old Jean Hill: resident, grandmother, jam maker, and water activist, though she’s no ordinary water activist. She doesn’t even drink that much water, but she knows a sham when she sees one.
Her work has made the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) concerned enough that they are challenging the legality of Hill’s town meeting ordinance. Their defense, which focuses on the use of recycled plastic in their product, seems a little empty. If 39 percent of your product is recycled, that means that 61 percent of your product is still ending up in landfills and oceans. Jerry James Stone of Treehugger.com wrote a nice blog about what’s happening in Concord, and he’s right on point.
Using resources, such as the film Tapped and our Free Your Event from Bottled Water Guide, Jean has been able to get more of her neighbors on board with her plan. We are managing to check in with Jean from time to time, through New England Director Denise Hart. We want to continue to offer support, especially as IBWA tries to inhibit her efforts.
Jean Hill is just one person in one town who made the decision to take action. She’s managed to stir the pot enough that the people are noticing all over the country. If one person in one town can make the IBWA nervous and get someone from John Kerry’s office to come to one of her events, imagine what many people in many towns can do.
The fact is, we don’t need bottled water. Jean certainly doesn’t think it’s a big deal for people to, “get a nice Thermos®,” or a reusable bottle. Even as summer temperatures start hovering over the 90’s across the country, we can still easily access tap water. Tapitwater.com has a handy resource to help you track down public places to get water during your summer travels. So, carry your reusable water bottle and don’t let Jean down.