Vancouver Park Board commissioners are considering a new policy that would ban the sale of bottled water at all city parks, beaches and recreational facilities.
On Monday, the Park Board will debate the motion forwarded by Green Party commissioner Michael Wiebe as part of the City of Vancouver’s ambitions to become the greenest city in 2020.
If the policy is approved, bottled water sales will be phased out and more water fountains and fill stations will be installed at facilities.
But there are a number of challenges to overcome with implementing such a ban.
The motion notes that the Park Board has an exclusive contract with Coca-Cola to supply bottled water at park facilities until November 2016. Changes to the contract would have to be negotiated if the plan proceeds.
According to the Vancouver Sun, a significant portion of the Park Board’s revenues come from the sale of bottled water. About $250,000 is generated annually through bottled water sales.
Only 11 new fountains have been added to park facilities over the past five years and only one water fountain is operational at Stanley Park on a year-round basis.
At this time, there is no plan or budget in place to install and maintain new water fountains at park facilities.
The motion coincides with a recent petition that called for a complete ban on the sale of bottled water in the city of Vancouver. To date, more than 7,200 people have added their signatures to the petition.