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City aims to phase out bottled water

SHANGHAI will phase out the production of bottled water and stimulate the water industry to come up with a greener alternative, the city's economic planner said recently.

The Municipal Development and Reform Commission said they plan to team up with other departments to promote low-carbon consumption and a greener drinking water supply to replace bottled water.

Many Shanghai homes and offices now reply on bottled water, creating a stable demand for plastic bottles.

"Industry statistics show the city consumed about 300,000 tons of plastic last year to make containers for purified water and other drinks. Nearly 1.8 million tons of petrol was used to make the plastic, releasing 1.85 million tons of carbon dioxide accordingly," said Lin Zhenyi, a member of the city's top advisory body. She has proposed to the city government to phase out bottled water supply.

"It is conducive to achieving a greener economy and to improving public health," she said, adding that there has long been a debate whether the use of bottled water is healthy.

The commission said they support a campaign to reduce the production of water bottles but efforts should be made gradually.

"Reducing the use of bottled water concerns many parties, especially the producers and delivers. Many workers will lose their jobs," a commission official said about Lin's proposal.

The commission said it supports the industry to introduce greener alternatives and gradually close outdated facilities.

However, the authority did not elaborate on official incentives for companies that find green solutions for the drinking water industry.


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