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Protest Aimed at Weaning Consumers Off the (Water) Bottle

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Oct 9, 2007 7:30PM

2007_10_tob.jpgBottled water has become something of an unlikely scapegoat in recent months, with corporate watchdog groups pressuring major conglomerates to come clean about how their waters are sourced and our own city council looking at a tax on bottled water to help close the deficit in next year's budget. Tomorrow morning at 11 a.m. the watchdog group Corporate Accountability International, 12th Ward Alderman George Cardenas (who proposed the tax on bottled water in August), members of Eighth Day Center for Justice, and other groups will hold a rally at the Navy Pier filtration plant in support of municipal water systems. The rally is part of a series of similar events across the country. Among the features of the rally will be a "tap water challenge", where rally attendees will engage in a blind taste test between tap water and assorted bottled water brands. Attendees will also be encouraged to sign a pledge in support of tap water.

Chicagoist spoke with Elizabeth Martin-Craig of Corporate Accountability International this afternoon. Martin-Craig indicated that CAI's efforts aren't relegated to simply raising awareness of the benefits of tap water. "We're encouraging city governments to break their contracts with bottled water companies", she said, noting that San Francisco has already done so and that Chicago has an exclusive bottled water vending contract with Nestle. "We don't think people even know about the contract (with Nestle)", said Martin-Craig.

Image courtesy of Think Outside the Bottle website.