This is rich stuff. Those familiar with Nestle’s desperate attempts to avert municipal bottled water bans in Canada will know of spokesperson’s John Challinor’s repeated assertions that 60% of Nestle’s plastic water bottles are recycled.
In a response to that assertion, a Guelph (Canada) resident points out that 60% of the bottles aren’t recycled – Nestle’s simply misleading readers.
Instead, he suggests the 60% figure tossed around by Nestle refers to the percentage of people who have access to recycling – not the percentage of bottles actually recycled.
If true, StopNestleWaters.org is shocked (shocked!) at the misinformation provided by Nestle’s spinmeisters.
Here’s the letter:
Dear Editor – Re: “Nestlé extensively tests its water supply” letter to the editor, Jan. 19.
John Challinor, Nestlé Waters Canada’s director of corporate affairs, conveniently attempts to dismiss the public’s concern over plastic water bottle pollution by merely tossing around misleading statistics.
First, please note that the 60 per cent figure reflecting access to recycling is not the same as a percentage figure showing the percentage of Nestlé water bottles sold that are actually recycled.
Second, note that the 60 per cent figure also reflects the fact that 40 per cent of Canadians do not even have access to recycling were they even inclined to do so.
Third, the Stewardship Ontario statistic used does not actually mean that very few Nestlé water bottles end up polluting the environment. Indeed, it could be taken as reflecting the fact that most of the bottles sold to the public actually do not end up back into the home where municipalities can deal with them, the bottles being tossed elsewhere in the environment.
My point is simply that if you walk the Canadian trails I walk, if you fish on Canadian rivers after spring runoff, if you visit the lake shores of Canada, or if you walk with me along the ditches that line some of our Canadian roadways, you will get the strong impression there are even more than 650 million water bottles to worry about, no matter what the Nestlé’s corporate affairs department says about their belief that their plastic water bottles are only a convenience, not a problem. I see them on the ground nearly everywhere I go.
If I were to defend Nestlé, I could go no further than to point out their use of plastic water bottles is only part of the problem. The fact that they sell them to people is also the problem. The plastic water bottle’s availability is the problem.
It just happens that the name Nestlé is showing up on our trails and shorelines and roadways like a bad billboard.
They are innocent. Or are they?
I am disappointed they are not helping us all find a solution to the problem.