By Rhonda Massad
Starting in spring of 2015, the city of Laval intends to adopt a resolution that will ban the use of plastic water bottles at city hall, in an effort to lower the city’s carbon foot print and produce less waste for landfills. The city plans to encourage the use of reusable bottles instead. The city also wants to take advantage of the exceptional tap water.
“Tap water in Laval is of exceptional quality,” Laval executive committee vice-chairman David de Cotis stated in an interview earlier this summer, “Environment Quebec deemed it five times superior to the government standard for drinking water, so why not take advantage of it?”
De Cotis got his inspiration for the city hall initiative from a group of Grade 7 and 8 students when he visited Odysée des jeunes middle school during their third annual science fair last spring.
The students set forth a resolution to be presented to the school commission banning the use of plastic water bottles at the same time as they banned water bottles in the school.
“If a middle school can do it, why can’t the city take an initiative and set an example as well,” de Cotis said.
In 2012 and 2013, Laval’s Ste. Rose and Pont Viau treatment plants were among the only four facilities in Quebec to earn five-star awards for their water.
Laval also received the Lucien l’Allier award that year. The distinction hailed the effectiveness of the city’s drinking water conservation program.
Several cities on the North America have decided in recent years to ban the sale of bottled water. Among them, the city of London, Ontario, in 2008 outlawed the sale of bottled water in public buildings.
A few months later, Toronto, Ottawa and Windsor adopt rules severely limiting similar trade.
The city of Beaconsfield, Quebec, adopted rules in 2006 favoring municipal water. More recently, Thetford Mines withdrew all its buildings distributors and water coolers.