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May 122009

By Laura Elizabeth May
Green Right Now

New York Gov. David Paterson has issued an executive order restricting the use of bottled water at state facilities and promoting executive agency sustainability.

The order, issued May 5th, will phase out the use of state funds to purchase single-serve bottles of water. Eventually, the state will purchase cooler-sized bottles of water and state agencies will provide tap water fountains and dispensers. The order gives government agencies 180 days to develop and begin implementation of a plan to eliminate the use of single-serve bottled waters.

“Bottled water is wasteful and requires large amounts of energy to bottle and transport,” Paterson said in a statement. According to the Container Recycling Institute, more than 60 million plastic bottles end up in landfills and incinerators every day.  The New York Department of Environmental Conservation, reports that manufacturing plastic bottles releases 800,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

“Taxpayers have spent billions of dollars to ensure that we have clean drinking water supplies,” Paterson said. “If we are going to make such significant investments, we should reap the benefits and use that water.” According to the NY DEC, tax payers spend $2 billion a year for their tap water.

New York is joining Virginia and Illinois who have also reduced government funding of single use bottled water.

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