Stop Nestle – Talking Points

This flier will also be available at the Nittany Valley Environmental Coalition/Sierra Club table at PASA:

CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA SAYS NO TO NESTLE!!

Nestle, a multinational company that promotes corporate ownership of global water supplies, wants access to millions of gallons of our clean, safe water in order to sell it at a 300-2000X premium in exchange for about 50 jobs that may or may not materialize (and will, if Nestle fully automates its plants, disappear in time). In exchange, we assume the risk of losing ground water in times of shortage and will bear the brunt of environmental externalities.

PROTECT THE FUTURE OF PUBLIC WATER!

  • Access to clean, safe and affordable water is a human right. Does Nestle see it that way? No! Nestle’s CEO, Peter Brabeck, has clearly asserted that clean water is not a human right but a “foodstuff commodity” with values assigned by corporations.
  • What would a Nestle water bottling plant mean for us?Nestle would purchase about 300 gallons of water per minute from the Spring Township Water Authority and sell that water at 300-2000 times the price per gallon that public water customers currently pay. Most of that water would be distributed outside the region.
  • Does Nestle care about communities? Private control means little public control. As California and British Columbia suffered devastating droughts, Nestle continued extracting tens of millions of gallons of water while public users were required to reduce use. See this BBC article, and this CBC article.
  • Bottled water is inefficient and environmentally destructive. The plastic needed to supply American consumption of bottled water requires 17 million gallons of oil equivalent per year, which contributes 2.5 million tons of carbon dioxide, equal to the emissions of 400,000 cars. It takes three liters of water to produce one liter of bottled water. Millions of tons of plastic bottles end up in landfills each year. Americans throw out 75% of all plastic bottles.
  • What about jobs? In truth, the water bottling industry as a whole creates few jobs, most of which are given to workers from outside the community. Jobs that residents do get tend to be low-paying and unsafe.

Presently, the water that we can access from our taps in Central Pennsylvania is some of the cleanest and safest water in the country. That quality of water is the result of appropriate public management and robust enforcement of environmental regulations. It is ours by right, and it is the responsibility of our elected local governments to continue maintaining and delivering safe, clean drinking water – not to sell it off to private companies.

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