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Posted at 6:01 AM ET, 07/13/2010

McDonnell reverses bottled-water ban

By Mike McPhate

This post has been updated.

Gov. Bob McDonnell's decision to reverse his predecessor's ban on the state's purchase of individual-sized bottled water is coming under fire from those who claim that he might have made the decision at the request of his friends in the industry, the Virginia Politics blog reports.

Former Republican delegate Chris Saxman, board member of the International Bottled Water Association and employee of Shenandoah Valley Water Co., a major water bottler in Virginia, has served as an education adviser to McDonnell.

Corporate Accountability International, a Boston-based nonprofit organization which promotes strong public water systems, among other issues, alleges that Saxman's company is the single largest recipient of state money spent on bottled water, including more than $101,000 in fiscal 2009.

But Saxman said Tuesday that his company primarily sells five-gallon containers of water, not individual water bottles. He also said that he did not speak to McDonnell or anyone in his administration about the decision.

Check out reporter Anita Kumar's take on the issue.

Gov. Bob McDonnell has reversed his predecessor's ban on state agencies' and institutions' purchase of individual-sized plastic water bottles.

Then-Gov. Timothy Kaine issued the directive that the state shouldn't buy plastic-bottled water, unless there's an emergency or health reason, as part of an overall government resource-conservation plan. Plastic water bottles are a major source of waste worldwide, and their continued use has been criticized as adding to overall pollution.

But McDonnell scrubbed Kaine's plastic-water-bottle ban, which he said would hurt state bottled-water manufacturers. He did carry over many elements from Kaine's plan, including asking state employees to recycle, turn off lights, and employ carpooling.

Information from: Richmond Times-Dispatch

-- Associated Press

By Mike McPhate  | July 13, 2010; 6:01 AM ET
Categories:  Virginia  
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Your note beneath the article on water bottles is truly amusing. "...even challenge Washingtonpost...." What roaring arrogance! Then you put up something by Associated Press! How truly humorous!

Posted by: jdiehl6 | July 13, 2010 7:24 AM | Report abuse

yes, banning water bottles would adversely effect water bottlers.
just as banning crack cocaine would adversely effect crack sellers and smokers.
just as banning drunk drivers adversely effects sellers of alcohol, etc.

the point was, until people are responsible enough to recycle most of those empty water bottles, selling water in little bottles is ruining the environment for EVERYONE.

Posted by: MarilynManson | July 13, 2010 8:26 AM | Report abuse

Raise your hand if you're surprised. So much for a better future for our children and grandchildren. Let's just leave them a cesspool and garbage dump to live in. It's all about the dollar with the GOP. What's in MY pocket NOW......

Posted by: jckdoors | July 13, 2010 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Nice to see common sense and free choice prevailing over political correctness in Virginia.

Posted by: WashingtonDame | July 13, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Is there anyway to stamp each bottle with McDonnells name, so a thousand years from now if there are still any humans left living in Virginia they can curse his name and call him a short sighted moron too?

Posted by: MarilynManson | July 13, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

get a grip people. he lifted a ban that only affects the way the state buys water. this is not the general public we're talking about. so save the drama of millions of plastic bottles littering the earth because of this. the state of va has recycling bins all over the place. employees are still encouraged to recycle. this change in policy isn't earth shattering.

Posted by: nejl | July 13, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Well there you go... more guns, more polution, as long as the $$ keep flowing for the top 2%. Don't they realize their own children and grand children will have to deal with that mess?

Posted by: jeanlucca | July 13, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

what the hell is wrong with using a water dispenser, a water fountain or brita filtered pitchers?
VA- ur gov is a phouken idiot.

Posted by: luvdc808 | July 13, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

It may only represent a small % of bottles sold, but it was a principled position that would make patrons of state-sponsored events think about their own bottle use. The pollution extends beyond water bottles in landfills; producing the bottles for American consumption required the equivalent of more than 17 million barrels of oil, not including the energy for transportation

Bottling water produced more than 2.5 million tons of carbon dioxide

It took 3 liters of water to produce 1 liter of bottled water

Posted by: tysonsara1 | July 13, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

What an [word for donkey]! Someone should take this fool on a cruise to see the plastic convergence zones in the Pacific Ocean bigger than the state of Texas.

Posted by: johng1 | July 13, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

What is wrong with the tap water in Virginia?

Why is it that the very people charged with public safety, feel drinking water from the tap is unhealthy or risky, that they require bottled water?

If government workers can't drink the water, how can any of us drink it?

Why do the taxpayers of Virginia have to spend a dollar a bottle for water for government workers, so they don't have to drink the same tap water we do for pennies a gallon?

McDonnell should drink be forced to drink Virginian Tap water, and if he doesn't like it he should clean it up til he does.

Posted by: MarilynManson | July 13, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

According to the U.S. EPA, bottled water makes up 1/3 of one percent of waste stream. That's a tiny sliver of all the packaging tossed out. Why single-out the healthiest packaged beverage you can drink? Why do people feel bottled water threatened tap water? It's solely for hydration. I hate the taste and smell of chlorine -- always have. I recycle my empty water bottles, and mayonaise jars and everything else made of #1 plastic. There's no reason to waste the public's time and attention on something as inherently good as bottled water. Enviros lose so much credibility when they spin their wheels knocking recyclable bottled water containers. Push recycling and stop the literally stupid chatter about the right and wrong way to drink water.

Posted by: TJLinBallston | July 13, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

For those who think waste is no big deal, at a conservative flow rate of 35,000 barrels a day, over the past 84 days the Macondo spill has pumped about 2,940,000 barrels of oil into the Gulf. Quibble with that number if you like. But if it is close to accurate, we utilize about 6 Macondo's worth of oil (as of 7/13) just to carry water around in clear plastic bottles. It's available at the tap. Open a refillable container, add water, hydrate.

Posted by: tysonsara1 | July 13, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

How about charging a $1 deposit on plastic bottles? That might be enough to keep them out of gutters, rivers and lakes while also allowing people to continue buying the products they want.

Posted by: paul5301 | July 13, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

When i grew up, the only bottled water was perrier and that was for rich stupid people with money to burn. next thing you know they will be selling bottled air.

bottled water is just so stupid, wasteful and useless. America has some of the best drinking water straight out of the tap. And most bottled water is just tap water in a bottle.

you are an idiot if you spend money are bottled water and your stupidity is whats destroying this planet.

Posted by: MarilynManson | July 13, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

If the Va Gov doesn't wantr the state to spend money on plastic bottles that's he right. The only exception I would like to see is for firemen. If a fireman is fighting a fire in this heat I see nothing wrong with him/her getting a bottle of water WHILE fighting the fire.

Posted by: Jimof1913 | July 13, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: johng1 | July 13, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

It was McDonnell himself who has said he has over turned the ban because he thinks it hurts state water bottlers. So why the surprize that he is friends with state water bottlers and this is just a favor to his friends?

It's not a favor to Virginia.

Posted by: MarilynManson | July 14, 2010 8:58 AM | Report abuse

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