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Friday, March 21, 2008

Seattle bans bottled water!

City of Seattle won't buy bottled water

By Sharon Pian Chan
Seattle Times staff reporter

To cut down on trash and help the environment, the city of Seattle will stop buying bottled water, Mayor Greg Nickels announced Thursday.

The city could save as much as $58,000 a year, officials said, by not purchasing bottled water for events or water-cooler jugs for its workers.

"It is to really highlight the fact that Seattle has one of the best municipal water supplies in the country," said Marty McOmber, the mayor's spokesman. "When you look at the cost of bottled water, both in terms of financial costs and costs on the environment, it's a pretty clear choice that using city water is a much better choice."

Nickels on the Thursday signed an executive order, which says that producing bottles for U.S. consumers required more than 17 million barrels of oil, not including the fuel required to transport the bottles. Only one of 10 bottles is recycled, according to the city's announcement.

The mayor also said that bottled water costs about $8 per gallon, compared to a gallon of tap water that costs a fraction of a penny.

Tap water in Seattle comes from the rain and snowpack in Cedar River and Tolt River watersheds, which are protected natural areas.

City workers still will be allowed to bring bottled water to work. Vendors who operate on city property, such as KeyArena and Seattle Center, will still be allowed to sell bottled water. The city also will make exceptions in emergencies.

Sharon Pian Chan: 206-464-2958 or

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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