Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Royson James on Toronto bottled water ban

A good read about how Toronto is leading by example on bottled water and other waste reduction measures. Toronto is taking baby steps but moving in the right direction.

City's green agenda can also inspire

In response to the article, OPSEU First Vice-President / Treasurer Patty Rout sent a letter to the editor to today's Toronto Star. Hopefully it will get published this week.

Letter to the Editor
Toronto Star
1 Yonge Street
Toronto, Ontario

January 9, 2008

Re: Royson James, City’s green agenda can also inspire – December 9, 2008

The Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) applauds the City of Toronto for its efforts to lead by example by banning the sale of bottled water at city-owned facilities. OPSEU is travelling down a similar road and taking action to phase out the use of disposable water bottles as well as water bottle coolers at our offices, events and other facilities.

To date, we’ve gone bottled-water free at 13 of our 22 offices including our head office in Toronto. More offices will be bottle free by the end of the year. Our plan includes lead testing to ensure that the safe drinking water delivered by municipalities is safe all the way to the tap. We are providing our staff, members and visitors a filtered water option on select taps. We have also provided our 300 plus staff with personal stainless steel drinking containers. We are able to pay for all of this from savings generated by the phase-out of water coolers.

As James says, Toronto’s initiatives will migrate to other organizations. This is because these measures are good for the environment and for the budget. Clean, safe drinking water provided by the public sector is a hallmark of progress. Toronto has re-affirmed that and that’s something we can all be proud of.

Patty Rout
1st Vice-President / Treasurer
Ontario Public Service Employees Union

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