PEI

Some municipalities on P.E.I. stop using disposable plastic water bottles at meetings

Some P.E.I. municipalities have already taken steps to remove plastic water bottles from council meetings and facilities.

Summerside, Charlottetown, Stratford and Cornwall have already stopped using plastic water bottles

Some municipalities on P.E.I. have already taken steps to get rid of plastic water bottles at town council meetings and in facilities. (Navneet Pall/CBC)

Some municipalities on P.E.I. say they've already taken steps to eliminate water bottles from government meetings, which comes after a challenge by Green Party Leader Peter Bevan-Baker to do the same for all provincial buildings.

Bevan-Baker raised the issue at a CBC's Waves of Change event earlier this week and since then, many municipalities have come forward to say they've already taken plastic water bottles out of meetings and to some extent facilities.  

Terry MacLeod, chair of environment and sustainability with the city of Charlottetown, said last year it created a sustainability living guide that includes tips for single-use plastics.

Green Party Leader Peter Bevan-Baker says there is no need for bottled water in provincial buildings. (CBC)

MacLeod said council encouraged staff to bring their drinks in reusable mugs and cups and installed water-refill stations at city hall.

Council also helped put water-refill stations at the Bell Aliant Centre, Prince Street Elementary School and Colonel Gray High School.

He said the switch from plastic water bottles wasn't difficult.

"It was pretty easy really," he said.

MacLeod said he supports both Bevan-Baker and Environment Minister Richard Brown in any decision they make about banning single-use plastics, like plastic water bottles, at provincial meetings.

P.E.I. Enviornment Minister Richard Brown says he agrees there is no need for plastic water bottles in provincial buildings. (CBC)

Charlottetown wasn't the only municipality to do this, though.

Stratford Coun. Darren MacDougall, who is also chair of the sustainability committee, said it provides water in coolers and compostable plates and cups for meetings.

MacDougall said no formal policy is in place for outside groups using municipal facilities but they too are encouraged to avoid single-use plastics.

"I do see us at some point introducing a policy within the town of Stratford that outside groups ... also not use water bottles," he said.

At least two other municipalities have followed suit: the town of Cornwall and the city of Summerside.

Kevin Coady, chief administrative officer for the town of Cornwall, said as a general rule they don't provide bottled water at town functions.

Summerside's executive assistant Lisa Langdale said they don't have plastic water bottles at their meetings.

She said they keep a pitcher of water in the fridge near the boardroom in city hall and glasses for people to use at town hall meetings and a sink where staff can get tap water.

Langdale said most people bring their own reusable water bottles to work throughout the day.

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