There has been a recent controversy bubbling out near Walden Pond, in Concord, MA. First, there was movement in a town meeting over a year ago to ban bottled water. The actions in Concord were inspired by the first town in the world to voluntarily ban bottled water: Bundy, Australia. At the time the movement was passed in Bundy, 350 people showed up to the meeting, and 348 voted for the ban. Two of them voted against it, and one of those was part of the bottled water industry. Treehugger has an extensive write-up on the ground-breaking ban.
More recently, to inspire Concord, Bundy wrote an open letter encouraging them in their attempt to counter support of bottled water, most of which has been manufactured through marketing by the multi-million-dollar bottled-water industry. However, the open letter came out before Massachusetts State Attorney General Martha Coakley rejected Concord’s proposed ban on bottled water, claiming that the ban “does not come within the attorney general’s limited review authority.”
In short, controversy abounds on the steam-gathering trend of Bundanooning, which the Australians claim in their letter is becoming increasingly popular. In response to Martha Coakley’s denial, Boston.com reports that the town will rally and re-think their anti-bottled-water strategy, putting the movement in bureaucratic language – like the beginning of Kafka’s many nightmares. Jean Hill, the 82 year-old Concord resident, is the figure behind the movement, and is learning the hard way what it is to go up against the State, and even worse, the Industry (who has already threatened to sue if the movement goes into effect.)
The people of Bundy accomplished the ban by doing it in a more proletarian way: giving up bottled water voluntarily. But until the millions and millions of people, who were initially convinced that bottled water is a good idea, can be educated and taught otherwise, other cities will have to (and currently do) try other tactics to counter the industry push, which is equal parts false advertising and environmental destruction. San Francisco, Seattle, and Chicago have already made movements, and others are attempting to follow.
We wishConcord good luck, and if/when the law goes into true effect, it may be yet another move toward a healthier Earth.