Basalt reverses bottle policy |

Basalt reverses bottle policy

BASALT ” Basalt is off the bottle.

Members of the Town Council drank water out of cups rather than individual store-bought bottles at their meeting Tuesday night.

It was a reversal of a reversal of an anti-water bottle decision. The council adopted a policy a few years ago, no one remembers exactly when, to stop buying bottled water for environmental reasons. So council members filled water glasses from pitchers placed strategically around their meeting room.

The informal policy was quietly overturned earlier this year because of a concern over cleanliness. Town Hall doesn’t have a big water heater, so there was a question whether or not the water pitchers were getting clean enough between meetings, according to Town Manager Bill Efting.

Critics called the cleanliness issue a lame excuse. Efting said he received numerous letters from local residents and people from several other states chiding the town for its reversal.

There is a growing effort within the environmental community to oppose bottled water. The greenhouse gases created from bottling and shipping the water has come under fire, as has the plastic waste.

Despite the growing effort to recycle, drinkers in the U.S. alone toss up to 60 million plastic water bottles per day, according to an article in the July edition of National Geographic.

Efting decided to go with the environmental flow. Prior to Tuesday’s meeting, he purchased a two-gallon water container from Wal-Mart and placed it on a table in the council’s chambers. Council members used the same paper cups throughout the meeting. The change was made with little fanfare; it wasn’t mentioned at the meeting.

Efting downplayed the switch when questioned after the meeting.

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