International Bottled Water Association | Immediate Release | July 22, 2010
IBWA Statement on the Reversal of Concord, MA, Bottled Water Sales Ban
Alexandria, VA — The Massachusetts Attorney General’s office on July 8, 2010, overturned a decision made last spring at an annual Town Meeting in Concord that would have completely banned the sale of bottled water within the town limits. The AG office’s decision declaring Concord’s vote to be null and void was based on procedural errors. The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) supports the AG’s decision because it will allow consumers to continue to have access to safe, healthy, convenient bottled water products.
After the initial decision at the Town Meeting to ban the sale of bottled water last spring, the Concord selectmen (Board) reconsidered the matter and voted to support the motivation of the ban, but also voted not to attempt to enforce the ban unless they heard otherwise from the AG’s office. Concord enjoys thousands of tourists who will have no problem finding thirst-quenching bottled water for sale as they stroll through the historic town this summer. Ironically, Concord’s attempted sales ban on bottled water came only a few days before nearby Boston, MA, endured a major boil alert leaving 2 million people without clean tap water over a 3-day period. Bottled water companies worked around the clock to provide consumers with safe drinking water during the emergency. Had Concord’s ban become effective and had such a boil alert taken place in Concord, consumers there would not have easily obtained safe drinking water.
In the future, should Concord’s leaders and residents continue to discuss what place bottled water may have there, IBWA and its members would welcome the opportunity to be included in those discussions. Bottled water is just one of thousands of products packaged in plastic, and there is no reason for it to be treated any differently. All product containers and packaging require responsible, post-consumer disposal through comprehensive recycling programs – something IBWA and its members fully support.
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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.