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Today, people across Canada and around the world are marking the second Bottled Water Free Day.

Canadians are rejecting the privatization of public water resources and pledging to toss the bottle and go back to the tap,” said Paul Moist, national president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees. “While Bottled Water Free Day started in Canada last year, this year it has spread to five continents.”

Organized by the Canadian Federation of Students, Canadian Union of Public Employees, Sierra Youth Coalition, Polaris Institute, and Development and Peace, Bottled Water Free Day aims to raise awareness about the negative impacts of bottled water and the need to defend public water resources and infrastructure.

Across the country students are standing up for public water,” added Shelley Melanson of the Canadian Federation of Students. “A dozen campuses have already banned the bottle and brought back the tap.”

Highlights of Bottled Water Free Day include:

  • More than 120 events on more than 60 Canadian university and college campuses, and at dozens more municipal facilities, workplaces, high schools, and other institutions;
  • Events in Canada, the United States and on five continents;
  • An announcement that the University of King’s College will go bottled water free, the first post-secondary institution in the Maritimes to do so.

Access to safe drinking water is a basic human right to which thousands of Canadians and nearly a billion people worldwide are denied,” added Siobhan Rowan of Development and Peace. “The Government of Canada and other governments worldwide need to do more to ensure access to it.”

Bottled Water Free Day is taking place after years of an increasing backlash to bottled water. To date nearly 100 municipalities, four municipal associations (including the Federation of Canadian Municipalities), seven school boards, 11 university campuses and countless workplaces have restricted the sale or distribution of bottled water.