To the Editor:
As the bottlers of Berkshire Mountain Spring Water, we hope the voters in Great Barrington will reject the proposed ban on bottled water in containers 1 liter and smaller in size. Berkshire Springs Inc. is a family-owned and -operated small business that has been bottling at our spring water source in Southfield since 1970. We have many home, office and retail customers in Great Barrington. Our customers choose our spring water over tap water for both taste and health preferences.
There is a myth that tap water is more strictly regulated than bottled water. Our water is tested daily in-house, weekly by an outside lab and extensively on an annual basis. We are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. We meet the highest standards set by the five New England states, plus New York and New Jersey where we are licensed. The single-serve bottles of spring water are a convenient and healthy choice for those who do not want to purchase soft drinks, teas, energy drinks and any other beverages that are also sold in single-serve, plastic containers.
These PET bottles are recyclable and have many uses as a recycled material. Berkshire Springs’ bottling plant recycles the single-serve bottles as well as unusable 5- and 3-gallon bottles, plastic wrap, all discarded caps and cardboard. We compact the materials, bale them and then deliver by the truckload to a recycling center in Springfield.
Please rethink this proposed bottled water ban and focus your efforts on recycling all plastic containers, which can be used in many new ways. The single, most effective thing a consumer can do to reduce plastic pollution of our environment is to ensure that any used plastic container enters the recycling chain directly from their hand.
Janis Bosworth Graham-Jones
Berkshire Springs Inc.