Monday, October 11, 2010

Local judge sides with plastic bottles

Posted By on Mon, Oct 11, 2010 at 1:38 PM

U.S. District Judge Robert Conrad, a Charlotte-based federal judge appointed during George W.'s administration, last week barred ads claiming plastic water bottles are harmful to the environment.

No, seriously. Here's a snippet from an Associated Press article:

A North Carolina company that touted its stainless steel water bottles on television and the Internet as a safer alternative to plastic water bottles has been ordered to stop making those claims.

The International Bottled Water Association sued Eco Canteen Inc. of Charlotte in federal court last year over what it said was a scare campaign to steer consumers away from plastic bottles.

U.S. District Judge Robert Conrad in Charlotte ordered Eco Canteen against distributing advertisements that claim or suggest plastic water bottles threaten public health.

Read the entire article, by Emery P. Dalesio, here.

If you read to the end, you'll see that the judge made his decision without a trial after Eco Canteen, the North Carolina-based stainless steel bottle manufacturer, had some sort of falling out with their legal team. So, this appears to be a ruling based on legal technicalities.

But, back to plastic bottles being bad for the environment:

  1. Plastic is made with petroleum.
  2. We fight wars over petroleum.
  3. Non-biodegradable plastics are filling our landfills and our oceans.
  4. Chemicals in plastics can cause health problems.
  5. People often neglect to recycle plastic bottles.

And that's just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

It doesn't take a genius to realize you're using fewer resources and creating less trash when you use a reusable canister versus disposable plastic bottles. Want to help our nation break our oil addiction? Stop using so much plastic, which is made with petroleum, because there is a direct connection between your demand for something and manufacturers' desire to supply it.

You don't need a judge's ruling to make good decisions. Simply choose to reuse containers — including plastic bottles — and recycle or repurpose whenever possible.

Further reading: FTC Proposes Crackdown on 'Greenwashing'The New York Times

What would it be like to live plastic-free? (And, why would you want to?)

Rhiannon "Rhi" Bowman is an independent journalist who contributes snarky commentary on Creative Loafing's CLog blog four days a week in addition to writing for several other local media organizations. Additionally, she's on the steering committee for the Greater Charlotte Society of Professional Journalists. To learn more, click the links or follow Rhi on Twitter.

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