What we all do happen to know about the well-known city of Gothenburg in Sweden is that it is one of the most beautiful cities in all of Europe and especially, a majestic destination nestled in the country’s west coast. We also know that the city with a population of no more than 6 lakhs (2020) is famous for its Dutch-style canals as well as the gorgeous leafy boulveards. The city homes perhaps tens of dozens of Volvos, but obviously, right?
But what we perhaps do not know and must, for time has come, is that the city of Gothenburg is fast emerging as a pioneer in the field of water. By this, one means water generation as well as its utilisation.
As a matter of fact, so splendid is the concept of water consumption in the city where the vital life resource was first provided to citizens back in 1787, that today Gothenburg is on its way toward setting a global benchmark on an entirely newfound and re-energized way of consuming drinking water.
The concerned authorities have taken an important decision and stipulated that the municipal corporations in the city of Gothenburg will have to provide tap water for drinking purposes instead of individuals having to use bottled water.
At a time where much of the world is perhaps not taking the act of cleaning of the planet of plastic seriously and is commonly found waxing lyrical all day, this essential step by Gothenburg-bound authorities could well be a game changer.
So let’s embrace some common facts first. Why is the city antagonistic about plastic usage; could it be that it is growing to be a vile evil in these times?
Here’s what the popular European-website The Mayor reported:
The fact is that in a developed and industrialized country, such as Sweden, it does not make much sense to buy bottled water given that tap water is widely available and it is just as safe and tasty. What is more – bottled water is 300 times more climate-affecting than water from the faucet.
Production of the bottles emits 300 times more greenhouse gases than tap water. In addition, bottled or canned water means a lot of waste that must be disposed of and recycled, which in turn requires energy. Some of it also invariably ends up in the wrong place and contributes to plastic in the sea. Tap water is delivered without packaging directly to one’s home or office. It is fresh, cheap and locally produced.
That being told, where it comes to optimum utilisation of water, such a scarce resource of our times anyways, then Gothenburg has been lauded for its holistic efforts toward conserving the key resource as well as taking vital steps toward its treatment. It became, back in 1787, the first-ever Swedish city to install a proper sewage treatment system.
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By that measure, the fifth-largest city in all Nordic countries has demonstrated unassailable superiority in the context of setting the right example in the domain of sustainability. Moreover, half a decade back, Gothenburg also became the first Swedish city to introduce the concept of a tap water label, also known as ‘Kranmarkt,’ which indicates that the working places are serving tap water, instead of bottled water, hence keeping the excessive usage of plastic under check.
But what truly remains to be seen is that in the imminent future- will bottled water completely phase out from the city’s retail outlets and become a thing of the past or will absolute dependance on tap water take its own share of time for the denizens of the serene city?