International Bottled Water Association | Immediate Release | July 10, 2010
Bottled Water Companies Applaud Virginia Governor for Reversing Ban on Commonwealth’s Purchase of Bottled Water for Official Functions
Alexandria, VA – The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) today applauded Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell (R) for reversing the recently imposed ban on single-serve bottled water at official functions and meetings. Governor McDonnell’s reversal of a directive by the previous Governor is effective immediately. According to Governor McDonnell’s Communications office, “This governor is not going to put in place mandates that hurt Virginia industries.” Data from IBWA indicate Virginia has a strong bottled water market with a direct economic impact to the Commonwealth in 2009 of 3,719 jobs in bottling, wholesale and retail sales and more than $145 million in wages and salaries and $865 million in product sales. Last year Virginia earned nearly $95 million in business taxes from bottled water companies and over $21 million in consumer taxes on the purchase of bottled water. When the economic impact of related industries, such as trucking, store clerk salaries, label-producers and other induced economic spending, bottled water’s overall contribution to Virginia in 2009 was $2.6 billion.
“We are grateful to Governor Mc Donnell for recognizing the value of bottled water companies to Virginia’s economy,” said Joseph K. Doss, president and CEO of IBWA. “We note that with the exception of the ill-advised bottled water prohibition, Governor McDonnell is carrying over most of the ‘green’ policies to conserve resources and energy that were put in place by the previous Administration. This means Virginia may put added emphasis on the need to recycle all consumer product containers and IBWA will be on the front line to assist in that important effort.”
IBWA and its members are also continuing to work with the Governor’s office on initiatives to further promote sustainability and the bottled water industry in Virginia.
Last month, the IBWA Board of Directors endorsed an innovative framework for a “Material Recovery Program” that can serve as the blueprint for local communities to increase recycling through the support and participation of all stakeholders. “The Material Recovery Program” framework will assist in developing new, comprehensive solutions to help manage solid waste in communities throughout Virginia and the nation by having all consumer product companies work together with state and local governments to improve recycling and waste collection efforts. Organizational efforts to establish public/private corporations to improve community recycling efforts are currently underway.
# # #
703-647-4609 or 703-887-4056 (cell)
The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) is the authoritative source of information about all types of bottled waters, including spring, mineral, purified, artesian, and sparkling. Founded in 1958, IBWA’s membership includes U.S. and international bottlers, distributors and suppliers. IBWA is committed to working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which regulates bottled water as a packaged food product, to set comprehensive and stringent standards for safe, high-quality bottled water products.
In addition to FDA regulations, IBWA member bottlers must adhere to the IBWA Bottled Water Code of Practice, which mandates additional standards and practices that in some cases are more stringent than federal and state regulations. A key feature of the IBWA Bottled Water Code of Practice is a mandatory annual plant inspection by an independent, third-party organization.
IBWA is proud to be a partner with Keep America Beautiful and a supporter of Drink Up, an initiative of former First Lady Michelle Obama and the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA), which encourages Americans to drink more water more often – whether from the tap, a filter, or in a bottle. Choosing water is always the healthy choice.