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Miami Bucks Bottled Water for the Tap
Today, Mayor Tomas Regalado of Miami signed the Think Outside the Bottle pledge in recognition of the city’s commitment to not spend taxpayer dollars on bottled water. The Regalado administration has worked with city administrators to uphold the city’s policy to use tap water over bottled water.
“To be spending taxpayer dollars during a time like this on bottled water, when state and local governments deliver high quality tap water to nearly every household, sends the wrong message about our commitment to the tap,” said Mayor Regalado. "There is no reason for our residents to be buying bottled water when our tap water equals or may exceed the quality of the bottled water."
Miami is joined by more than 140 cities and 6 states from across the country who have taken action to reduce taxpayer spending on bottled water or to promote their public water systems, including the Florida cities of Coral Springs, Orlando, Clearwater, Tallahassee and Hallandale Beach.
“This is a no-brainer for our city,” said Mayor Regalado. “Our public officials are championing investment in public water systems since these systems provide needed drinking water, create green jobs and preserve the long-term viability of our most essential shared resource. It’s a win-win equation when states stop pouring taxpayer dollars down the drain and plastic into landfills.”
A study put forth by the U.S. Conference of Mayors suggests that closing the tap investment gap could create tens of thousands of jobs, and help generate tens of billions of dollars in GDP. Conversely, bottled water has a range of costs to taxpayers. For example, each year cities and states pay at least $42 million to dispose of plastic water bottles.
The Mayor’s sign-on comes several years after Nestlé Waters North America threatened to sue Miami-Dade County for radio ads promoting the county’s tap water over Nestlé’s bottled water.
“Over the last 30 years, the bottled water industry has manufactured demand for an essential resource that already flows from our taps. The marketing has been so effective that even the cities and states charged with the stewardship of our tap water are spending millions on bottled water,” said Think Outside the Bottle Director Kristin Urquiza, of Boston-based Corporate Accountability International—the organization leading the outreach to cities across the country. “This sends the wrong message about the quality of the tap and the pressing need to reinvest in public water.”
Today’s announcements come in response to the groundswell of public support mobilized for such official actions by Corporate Accountability International supporters across the country.
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