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October 21, 2009
2:22 PM

CONTACT: Food & Water Watch

Erin Greenfield at (202) 683-2457 or

Food & Water Watch Joins with Local Community Leaders and Businesses to Launch Grand Rapids Take Back the Tap Campaign

GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan - October 21 - Today, Food & Water Watch, the Wege Foundation, the Grand Rapids City Commission, Gilmore Collection restaurants, Grand Rapids Community College and Saint Mary’s Health Care joined together to launch Take Back the Tap Grand Rapids. The campaign highlights the social, economic, and environmental problems with the bottled water industry; the need for increased funding for public tap water; and the importance of celebrating and protecting Michigan’s watersheds. 

“With a wide range of stakeholders coming together to phase out bottled water, the campaign in Grand Rapids is the most comprehensive local effort to take back the tap that we’ve seen yet,” said Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch. “The launch of the Grand Rapids Take Back the Tap campaign clearly demonstrates the city’s commitment to protecting natural resources and the environment, not to mention consumers’ wallets. It is a model for other cities to follow.”

The campaign kicked off when the Grand Rapids City Commission introduced and passed a resolution to ban the use of municipal funds to purchase bottled water. Joining the city of Grand Rapids in the kickoff effort were the Gilmore Collection restaurants, St. Mary’s Hospital and three health clubs owned by Saint Mary’s Health Care—Michigan Athletic Club, East Hills Athletic Club, and Orchard Hills Athletic Club. Each establishment pledged to immediately begin phasing out bottled water, with the goal of educating customers about the benefits of tap water over bottled water.

Food & Water Watch is working with business and municipalities across the country to promote the social, environmental and economic benefits of tap water through its Take Back the Tap Campaign. This new initiative in Grand Rapids follows similar efforts in San Francisco, Calif; New York, N.Y.; Los Angeles, Calif; Portland, Maine; and Boulder, Colo., among others.

Food & Water Watch is a nonprofit consumer organization that works to ensure clean water and safe food. We challenge the corporate control and abuse of our food and water resources by empowering people to take action and by transforming the public consciousness about what we eat and drink.


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