In Paris Fountains, Let Them Drink Sparkling Water

City of lights now offers tap water that sparkles
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 3, 2017 7:03 AM CST
In Paris Fountains, Let Them Drink Sparkling Water
A little girl approaches a drinking water fountain to fill a bottle with water in this July file photo.   (Massimo Percossi/ANSA via AP)

As if Paris didn't already have wine, bread, and cheese going for it, now it's attempting to woo you with its public drinking fountains in a move that's actually environmentally motivated. Many such fountains now offer up sparkling water, reports NPR, and for those worried that some might abuse the offering, well, that's actually the hope of public officials who are aiming to cut back on the number of plastic water bottles that get tossed every year. "We want to push people to change their habits and just trust that water coming from a public tap is good-quality water," says the city's deputy mayor for climate and water. "And that drinking it is like a political act—you're doing something for you, for your health, but also for the planet." She says that a family of four on the city's tap water saves 12 pounds of plastic annually.

Habits appear to be changing, with some residents filling their bottles at the fountains for home use. "It's not a question of saving money," says one. "It's a question of having fresh air and walks in Paris. It's very nice." Adds another: "Sometimes people have 10 bottles. It's ecological and of course, cheap. When you come twice a week, if you've got children, you become used to it. It's a rhythm; it's part of your life." Paris has 1,000 public water fountains, but NPR notes the city is converting fountains in every arrondissement. "Tap water is better for the environment," says one 22-year-old convert. "There are too many bottles in the ocean and everywhere. It's too bad. Plus, I feel that Paris' tap water is protected and it's good." (Read more Paris stories.)

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