Today’s decision by the Land and Environment Court to increase the amount of groundwater extracted at Coca-Cola’s Peat Ridge water bottling plant ignores the high environmental cost of bottled water, according to the Nature Conservation Council of NSW.
“Bottled water is marketed with a pure, wholesome image but its convenience comes at a sizeable environmental cost,” Cate Faehrmann, executive director of the Nature Conservation Council of NSW said today.
“The Peats Ridge bottling plant will remove 66 megalitres of groundwater annually, potentially lowering local water tables and denying the NSW central coast community of a precious water resource. Studies suggest Australia’s underground acquifers may already be over-allocated and the precautionary principle should be applied when deciding whether to draw their water for commercial purposes.
“The environmental impacts of bottled water are hard to swallow. A large amount of energy is expended on extracting groundwater, transporting and then packaging it.
“The plastic water bottles themselves are made from oil derivatives, adding to a significant carbon footprint for the final product.
“Individuals concerned about their ecological footprint are choosing tap water over bottled water. The NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change stopped providing bottled water at its offices late last year and discourages staff from consuming bottled water due to its environment impacts,” Ms Faehrmann said.