Discourage use of bottled water, and help reduce waste

I urge the Government to do something about the widespread use of bottled water in Singapore.

This is happening despite the fact that the quality of the country's tap water is one of the best in the world.

Bottled water is no safer than tap water.

In fact, there have been some reports that claim about 25 per cent of bottled water comes from tap water.

Research has also shown that a litre of bottled water takes an estimated three litres of water to package.

Given the widespread use of bottled water in Singapore, I believe that this is contributing significantly to the amount of waste that the Republic produces ("S'pore recycled 9% of plastic waste in 2014"; last Tuesday).

My biggest issue is that the Government has not been doing its part in discouraging the use of bottled water.

I hope that the Civil Service can take the lead in this area by reducing or even doing away with bottled water during the many events and activities organised every year.

Singapore was recently accredited to the United Nations Environment Programme, and the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources stated that the accreditation signalled "Singapore's commitment to address global environmental challenges through international cooperation" ("Singapore accredited to UN Environment Programme"; ST Online, Feb 15).

It is thus timely for Singapore to seriously consider the detrimental effects our use of bottled water has on our environment, and to stand by what we say on the international stage.

Alex Teo Boon Keng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 14, 2016, with the headline 'Discourage use of bottled water, and help reduce waste'. Print Edition | Subscribe