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Ban would have outlawed bottled water use at official functions
The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) this week applauded Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell (R) for reversing the recently imposed ban on single-serve bottled water at official functions and meetings. McDonnell’s reversal of a directive by the previous governor is effective immediately.
According to 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 program’s 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.