5 June: World Environment Day - IFAD green group launches "Back to the TAP (Traditional Acqua, Please) campaign"

To commemorate World Environment Day, IFAD's Green Group launched " Back to the TAP (Traditional Acqua, Please) campaign".

Moses, Hazel, Dunia and other colleagues set up a stand outside of the cafeteria to raise awareness about the devastating environmental impact of our bottled water consumption. Did you know that:

  • on a daily basis the bar sells 300 small bottles
  • each day, cleaners collect on average 4 bags of plastic bottles. Only 10 of us recycle plastic bottle properly!!! REMEMBER the BLUE bag is for PLASTIC!
Leaving IFAD behind, on a global scale, did you know that:
  • Italians drink the most bottled water per person, at nearly 184 liters in 2004—more than two glasses a day and more than two times the consumption of Portugal. Mexico is second in world per person consumption of 168 litres and first in the American continent. Perhaps, Italy is still leading in the per person consumption of bottled water yet it has the world largest number of public fountains dating back to the Roman Empire.
  • In contrast to tap water, which is distributed through an energy-efficient infrastructure, transporting bottled water long distances involves burning massive quantities of fossil fuels. In 2004, for example, Nord Water of Finland bottled and shipped 1.4 million bottles of Finnish tap water 4,300 kilometers (2,700 miles) from its bottling plant in Helsinki to Saudi Arabia, implying a huge carbon footprint.
  • Fossil fuels are also used in the packaging of water. The most commonly used plastic for making water bottles is polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which is derived from crude oil. For example, making bottles to meet Americans’ demand for bottled water requires more than 17 million barrels of oil annually, enough to fuel more than 1 million U.S. cars for a year.
  • Worldwide, some 2.4 million metric tons of plastic are used to bottle water each year.
  • But bottled water is not guaranteed to be any healthier than tap water. In fact, roughly 40 percent of bottled water begins as tap water; and the French Senate even advises people who drink bottled mineral water to change brands frequently because the added minerals are helpful in small amounts but may be dangerous in higher doses
  • The United Nations Millennium Development Goal for environmental sustainability calls for halving the proportion of people lacking sustainable access to safe drinking water by 2015. Meeting this goal would require doubling the $15 billion a year that the world currently spends on water supply and sanitation. While this amount may seem large, it pales in comparison to the estimated $100 billion spent each year on bottled water while more than 1 billion people around the globe still lacking access to a safe and reliable source of water.
So, after hearing these shocking facts, we are all looking forward to seeing water fountains installed in strategic corners of the building.... I think it is safe to say that we all subscribe to NO PLASTIC campaign. And let's not forget that water coolers or water fountains are great knowledge sharing venues, just like the shuttle bus has proven to be a fantastic knowledge sharing vehicle!!!

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