New York City – The City Council has become the latest government agency to take a stand against bottled water.
Last week, the speaker’s office announced that it would stop buying bottled water for the Council’s downtown offices, which went through at least 6,000 single-serving bottles last year. As a result, bottled water will no longer be available at City Council events or official functions.
“We are obviously going to make paper cups available,” said Christine C. Quinn, the Council speaker. “We are going to urge people to bring in their own reusable water bottles.”
In addition, the city has started a pilot program with water coolers that use filtered tap water. Nine of the coolers have been installed in the last six months at City Hall and in the Municipal Building.
“It is a bit hypocritical for the city to be buying bottled water for city buildings while it is encouraging New Yorkers to drink city tap water,” said Simcha Felder, a Brooklyn councilman who pressed the cooler issue at budget hearings.
These small shifts come as the United States Conference of Mayors, meeting this weekend in Miami, plans to debate a resolution urging city governments across the country to do the same.
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, a co-sponsor of the resolution, is a self-professed consumer of New York City tap water.
“Not only at home, but at every restaurant. Every time they say, ‘Would you like tap or still?’ I say, ‘New York City,’ ” Mr. Bloomberg said on Monday. “This is the best water in the world. Restaurants like to sell bottles of water, I understand, but I always drink tap water.”