Thursday, Sep. 10, 2009

Huw Kingston

Bundanoon is a tiny, picturesque town in Australia known mostly for its sleepiness. But when the local springs caught the eye of a bottling company, Huw Kingston, who runs the town's café cum bicycle shop, decided he'd had enough. "Bottled water is a marketing con job," he says. "Why would we let them extract our water to put in plastic bottles and sell back to us?" Kingston got Bundanoon to become the first town in the world to ban the sale of bottled water. On Sept. 26, new water fountains will go live, and local stores will switch from selling water to selling refillable water bottles. It's a pint-size start — barely a dozen stores — but it brought global media attention to the problems that come with a thirst for bottled water.