Nestlé Will Pay 13,500% More to Pump Ontario’s Water for Bottling
Nestlé Will Pay 13,500% More to Pump Ontario’s Water for Bottling.
Today, Nestlé pays just $3.71 per every million litres of water the company pumps out of the ground in Ontario, so that it can bottle it and then and sell it back to thirsty customers for profit.
But that won’t last for much longer.
Nestlé is licensed to pump 4.7 million litres of water per day from two sites in Ontario, meaning that the company will now pay $2,367 for the water it takes every day, instead of the paltry $17.50 it pays now.
In October, feeling the pressure, the province proposed a two-year moratorium on any new or extended water-taking permits.
But the larger, unanswered question is: should water be a commodity to begin with?
“There’s an economic issue here, yes, and if water is being used as a commodity then it should be priced accordingly,” Scharper said.
“But the larger question is whether water for bottling purposes should be for sale at all.” “If this decision leads to an acceptance of water as a commodity instead of a basic common good, then that might be a problem,” he continued.
Scharper’s perspective is one that goes back to the first enclosing of communal farming lands by the wealthy to create private property in the 1700s, creating a class of landless labourers.
“The industry pumps water out of the ground, and spews out a plastic bottle for every 500 millilitres—we get water, which we can get anyway from public sources, and we’re left with garbage.” Nestlé is expected to release a statement on the increase later today, and we will update this piece when we hear from the company.