School board takes aim at bottled water
I don't know if this would be the best idea since by getting rid of bottled water, kids would definitely go towards unhealthy drinks. On the contrary, it is a environmental problem. The 2007 guidelines for food and beverage sales I think will keep the water bottles in school for few more years.
At least one Lower Mainland school district is considering banning the sale of plastic water bottles due to their environmental impact.
Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows school district committee board chair Cheryl Ashlie said the B.C. carbon tax, the environmental impact of the bottles and the health of students prompted the district's nutrition committee to discuss the subject.
"We have to look at every aspect of our practices, including our purchasing," she said. "But clearly the water bottle discussion is on the table."
Stepan Vdovine, a trustee for Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows, said he is concerned about his district's ability to extricate itself from their vendor contract with the Coca-Cola Company, and how revenue lost after the contract is cancelled might adversely affect students.
"My contention is that programs of importance to students' development should rely on solid funding provided by the board [and] not on sales of carbonated beverages or water," he said.
Vdovine, who has long been opposed to vending machines in schools, asked for a copy of the district's contract with Coca-Cola, but said was told he couldn't have it because it was confidential.
He plans to ask the school board to support a motion to file a Freedom of Information request to get a copy of the contract.
"It's ridiculous we sell bottled water in our schools when we have water fountains," Vdovine said. "That's why I want to see the contract. What are our obligations? Can we get out of it?"
School districts and municipalities across Canada have already moved to ban the sale of bottled water from their schools.
The Waterloo Region board banned the bottles in April, and expects to phase them out completely by 2009.
School districts in Ottawa-Carleton and Toronto will vote this year on whether to do the same.
The city of Nelson banned the bottle last week in municipal offices, recreation areas and parks.
The 2007 guidelines for food and beverage sales in B.C. schools, provided by the education and health ministries, stipulate that water must account for 50 per cent or more of food and beverage sales by 2008, creating a potential problem for any move by school districts to ban bottled water. The guidelines also require pop to be eliminated from schools sales by 2008.
The Vancouver school board is aware of the movement to ban plastic water bottles, said board chair Clarence Hansen, but they haven't looked into it yet.
"It's on our radar," he said.
Linda McPhail, board chair for the Richmond school district, said the same.
"It's a possibility," she said. "We have very active students in our district. They might be interested in pursuing a campaign."