Halifax School Board debates banning bottled water sales
Students from several Halifax schools want to ban the sale of bottled water across their school board, but a staff report said it's not practical because of existing commercial contracts and insufficient fountains in some buildings.
The Halifax Regional School Board will vote next week.
A staff report said a total ban is not feasible. Instead, staff recommend each school decide on its own.
School board member Chris Poole said he would like a ban, but he said it's not feasible yet.
"We have schools where they can't drink the water there so they have to bring in water. We have other schools with cafeterias providers who have contracts with suppliers who have contracts with other suppliers and to come down and say you need to stop selling bottled water would be almost impossible," Poole said.
Jay Hubbard, a student who lobbied for the ban, said the recommendation is a concession, but efforts to get rid of bottled water will continue.
"If we find that some schools haven't banned the bottle we might do some work to try and encourage them to," he said.
"It's a good compromise and it does solve the problem that not all schools have safe drinking water and the vending machine contracts and such, but I do hope most schools will at least consider banning the bottles."
The Ecology Action Centre's Jocelyne Rankin said she recognizes a ban might not be suitable.
Still, "we don't think it went far enough to really encourage schools to take action to ban bottled water."