Italy is vitally concerned that its panoramic vistas are being desecrated by a home-grown version of the floating plastic dump called North Pacific Gyre, the moving vortex of garbage in the Pacific Ocean.
Researchers confirm that the Atlantic Ocean has its own plastic dump, doing incalculable damage to ocean life. Both of these concepts remain remote — out there somewhere — and entering our consciousness only on the Oprah show.
A vision of the Italian seacoast as a garbage dump doesn’t permeate our romantic brains.
Plastic Garbage and Cinque Terre
The quaint Italian villages, terraced vineyards and magnificent cliffs of the Cinque Terre attract three million visitors a year, hoardes of tourists who discard two million plastic bottles, many of which tumble down the cliffs and pollute beaches and the sea.
The worst month is August, when an average of 400,000 plastic bottles are discarded along the narrow strip of picturesque World Heritage coast, which lies south of Genoa in the province of Liguria. via Telegraph UK
With shopkeepers crying foul, bottled water will no longer be sold in Cinque Terre. Government officials sigh, saying that the ban is ultimately good for tourism and their businesses long-term.
“Houses of Water” in Milan
Fountain water taps have also come to Milan, where the water authority estimates that the water kiosks, including three at IKEA stores, will divert 5.5 million water bottles from ending up as landfill.
Italians are apparently the largest consumers of bottled water in the world - in 2006 the consumption of bottled H2O was half a liter per person per day, and that figure has continued to rise. The water houses are a step back to a time when most citizens got their water for free at the town pump. via TreeHugger
Free Bubbly Water Comes to Paris
News of the Italian coast plastic bottle ban comes as we research more facts on the fizzy water fountain installed in a wooden hut of the Jardin de Reuilly, in eastern Paris. France is following Italy’s lead, testing free bubbly water in an effort to diminish the use of plastic bottles.
The French addiction to sparkling water creates more than 250,000 tons of plastic waste per year, as the eight largest consumer of bottled water. Honest about their passion for fizzy water, the French say tap water is boring but otherwise perfectly acceptable for boring.
To date, the new French fizzy water is well received. It’s not Perrier, say most, but it’s close.
No word yet on whether or not New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has a vision for champagne-taste water fountains in Wall Street.
In New York, we bring these issue back to economics and our need to keep growing. The Story of Stuff Project shares the story of marketing bottled water in America.
The Story of Bottled Water