I just did a back-of-the-envelope calculation about the proposed Nestle bottling plant in Spring Township. On plastic alone it’s not pretty.
Just so that you know, I’m interested in the systemic impacts and the ethical issues. So far, I’ve been looking into Nestle’s business practices (awful), what economic development should be for the region (regenerative), Clearwater Conservancy’s statement on the matter (not positive), and the way that businesses shape us. All this should make us realize that the environmental, economic, governmental, and social impacts of a Nestle plant are beyond bad. And if you examine it systemically, it’s not just Spring Township or the Centre County. It’s bigger than that.
If Nestle bottles 432,000 gallons a day from the Spring Township Water Authority into 16 oz bottles that’ll be about 3.5 million plastic bottles a day. In a rosy scenario, 20% will be recycled. But if we consider the balance of all things, it’s really bad. And Nestle, the extractor, has to pay for none of it. But moving on…
Where will they go?
It’ll result in 2.8 million bottles going to landfills, incinerators, into our streams, the Chesapeake Bay, and the ocean every day. Make that an annual number and your brain will melt. In a Dr. Evil moment says this: “We will put just shy of 1.3 billion total bottles and around a billion into pure waste. Mwahahahahahahah!”
Right now, every local township has to deal with a Chesapeake Pollution Reduction Program Why? Because we have to deal with runoff, nutrient loading, and so on. But you know what…Nestle doesn’t. And none of us have to deal with plastics. As far as I’m concerned, that’s not good enough. Let’s step up.
Nestle doesn’t have to show that their products–plastics and withdrawals–are held to the same standard that farmers, sewer treatment plants, or regular landowners are. They get a free pass while they sell our water on a “free market.” Does that sound fair? I think not.
The loss of community sovereignty, the assured compromise of an exceptional value trout stream, and a handful of jobs. Say no to Nestle.