Surrey school trustee floats bottled water ban

Schools and the district should use and promote tap water, says Laurie Larsen.

Surrey school Trustee Laurie Larsen says bottled water is unnecessary and shouldn't be made available in schools or at district events.

Surrey school Trustee Laurie Larsen says bottled water is unnecessary and shouldn't be made available in schools or at district events.

A local school trustee wants to stop the flow of bottled water into Surrey schools.

“Since I became a trustee, I’ve been trying to encourage the use of regular tap water,” says Trustee Laurie Larsen, who says she’s been drinking the municipal water in Surrey for more than 50 years and it’s more than fine.

She’s frustrated that alongside the juice and milk in school vending machines, bottled water is routinely an option for students.

“There really, to me, is no need for that,” says Larsen.

And it’s not just in schools. Bottled water is often provided at board meetings, conferences and many other district-hosted events – something Larsen believes is entirely unnecessary in a city and province with good, safe water.

She is scheduled to present a motion at tonight’s (Thursday’s) Surrey Board of Education meeting asking that the district’s water fountains are in working order, that bottled water not be provided at district meetings and events, and that the district produce educational materials promoting the use and benefits of tap water over single-use plastic water bottles.

“By advocating or selling bottled water, we’re sending the signal that maybe our water isn’t safe,” Larsen says. “We’ve all bought into this myth that bottled water is so great. A lot of the bottled water is from municipals systems.”

Her motion says B.C. tap water is tested 25,000 times per year, that bottled water costs 2,000 times more than tap water, that large amounts of fossil fuels are burned to ship bottled water and millions of plastic bottles end up in the waste system annually.

Larsen also hopes to get her fellow trustees’ support in checking what existing contacts the district has with bottled water suppliers, with the intent to phase out such contracts – a move that could prove contentious as beverage contracts generate funds for the cash-strapped district.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey Police Service’s crest was unveiled Tuesday. (SPS image)
Surrey Police Service hires new communications manager from Surrey RCMP

Lisa Eason was municipal manager of Surrey RCMP’s communications and media unit for almost eight years

Clover Lanes is seen on May 7, a few days after the building was sold and the 72-year-old business was closed for good. (Photo: Malin Jordan)
End of an era: Clover Lanes closes for good

Building had been up for sale for more than a year

Statue of Lady Justice at B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Delta Patriots Cricket Club takes Surrey, other clubs to court over Cricket BC voting

‘At issue is the propriety or legality of the voting procedures within Cricket BC,’ Justice John Harvey noted

Seaquam Secondary School (Grace Kennedy photo)
Pellet gun leads to ‘hold and secure’ at North Delta high school

Seaquam Secondary was under ‘hold and secure’ for about 25 minutes on Monday, May 10

Surrey Eagles forward Rocco La Cara battles with Coquitlam Express forward Dante Berrettoni during a game earlier this season. (Damon James photo)
Surrey Eagles wrap up BCHL ‘pod’ season with win over Coquitlam

South Surrey-based junior ‘A’ hockey team finishes with 17-2-1 record

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

Nurse Gurinder Rai, left, administers the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to Maria Yule at a Fraser Health drive-thru vaccination site, in Coquitlam, B.C., on Wednesday, May 5, 2021. The site is open for vaccinations 11 hours per day to those who have pre-booked an appointment. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID vaccine bookings to open for adults 40+, or 18+ in hotspots, across B.C.

Only people who have registered will get their alert to book

Dr. Victoria Lee, CEO of Fraser Health, hosts an update on efforts to contain B.C.’s COVID-19 transmission in Surrey and the Fraser Valley and protect hospitals in the Lower Mainland, May 6, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate slowing, 20 more people die

Deaths include two people in their 40s, two in their 50s

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The Canadian Forces Snowbirds are in the Comox Valley for their annual spring training. Photo by Erin Haluschak
Suspected bird strike on Snowbirds plane during training in B.C.

Pilot followed protocols and landed the aircraft on the ground without any problems

BCIT. (Wikimedia Commons)
BCIT apologizes after employee’s ‘offensive and hurtful’ email leaked to Métis Nation

BCIT says employee’s conduct has been investigated and addressed

An adult male yellow-breasted chat is shown in this undatd photograph on lands protected in collaboration between the En’owkin Centre and Penticton Indian Band with support through ECCC. The rescue from near extinction for a little yellow bird hinges on the wild rose in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, a researcher says. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, A. Michael Bezener/ En’owkin Centre 2020 *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Rare yellow birds need wild roses to survive in British Columbia: researcher

The importance of local wild roses emerged over a nearly 20-year experiment

RCMP officers search around rows of luggage carts as screens block off an area of the sidewalk after a shooting outside the international departures terminal at Vancouver International Airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Police say gang conflict in Metro Vancouver may be behind shooting death at airport

Police said this generation of gangsters is taking things to new level and have no regard for community safety

Most Read