Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Nestle thinks a public right to water is 'extreme'. Story Of Stuff disagrees and so do I

I recently discovered the Story Of Stuff project which is an
American initiative, but one with a global message and hopefully a global reach. Basically their philosophy is to preserve, repair, reuse and recycle, enabling our planet to sustain us all. Sounds great, if a tad utopian, but many of their ideas are so stunningly simple, anyone can get involved saving themselves money in the process.

A current campaign discusses our clean water and the modern trend to buy and buy and buy overpriced plastic bottles of the stuff - even though we already pay for perfectly good drinking water to come out of our taps at a fraction of the cost. Now, perhaps if you live in Flint, Michigan, or somewhere with fracking going on under your doorstep, then bottled could be the safer option. However if you merely buy bottled water 'for convenience' or as a brand status statement, please reconsider. A fresh small bottle of water every day could cost you over £150 a year. Couldn't that amount of cash be put to better use?

Story Of Stuff has this to say about one of the biggest water-grabbing corporations:

"Across the globe, Nestlé is pushing to privatize and control public water resources. Nestlé's Chairman of the Board, Peter Brabeck, has explained his philosophy with "The one opinion, which I think is extreme, is represented by the NGOs, who bang on about declaring water a public right. That means as a human being you should have a right to water. That’s an extreme solution."

Since that quote has gotten widespread attention, Brabeck has backtracked, but his company has not. Around the world, Nestlé is bullying communities into giving up control of their water. It's time we took a stand for public water sources.

Tell Nestlé that we have a right to water.

Stop locking up our resources!

At the World Water Forum in 2000, Nestlé successfully lobbied to stop water from being declared a universal right -- declaring open hunting season on our local water resources by the multinational corporations looking to control them. For Nestlé, this means billions of dollars in profits. For us, it means paying up to 2,000 times more for drinking water because it comes from a plastic bottle. Now, in countries around the world, Nestlé is promoting bottled water as a status symbol. As it pumps out fresh water at high volume, water tables lower and local wells become degraded. Safe water becomes a privilege only affordable for the wealthy. In our story, clean water is a resource that should be available to all. It should be something we look after for the public good, to keep safe for generations, not something we pump out by billions of gallons to fuel short-term private profits. Nestlé thinks our opinion is "extreme", but we have to make a stand for public resources.

Please join us today in telling Nestlé that it's not "extreme" to treat water like a public right."

I was certainly shocked by that CEO's attitude! Companies like Nestle will only follow such aggressive practices as long as they have a market for their product. No market means no profit so no point in continuing the enterprise. And as the first graphic shows, it's not like they have limited profit avenues! In fact my own attempts to boycott Nestle have turned up numerous products that I never realised were part of the 'family'.

You can stand up for communities that are fighting the loss of their water by signing this petition and sharing the video below, and please consider your own part in the global water cycle - do you really need to buy another plastic bottle full?

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