The ZERO association launches this Monday, March 22, World Water Day, the online campaign “Water from the Tap. The drink of choice” to promote the consumption of tap water. The campaign takes shape through a website that encourages citizens and entities/companies to adhere to this practice.
Through the site https://aguadatorneira.pt, citizens and other entities, public and private, as well as the management entities themselves, can join this campaign, «demonstrating responsibility in their own behavior and encouraging their circles of family, friends, customers and suppliers to adopt a more responsible practice. from an environmental and sustainability point of view,” says ZERO.
This campaign is the result of a partnership between ZERO and EPAL, to promote the consumption of tap water in the municipality of Lisbon, but has a scope of influence throughout the country.
The association explains that "the site includes information about tap water, its production and quality, deconstructing myths that have called into question the safety of its consumption."
Data on 'the impact on resource use and pollution caused by the consumption of bottled water' are also included.
The specific areas for the adhesion of citizens, companies/entities and management entities, allow the awareness of citizens so that they choose to consume tap water instead of bottled water; the adhesion of public and private entities, so that they start to make tap water available to their customers and employees; and also the collaboration with the management entities in the promotion of tap water and in the dissemination of entities that opt for consumption, in Exclusive, from tap water.
Hotels and restaurants will be required to provide tap water from July
According to Decree-Law No. 102-D/2020, of 10 December, establishments in the HORECA sector (hotels, restaurants and cafeterias) will be required, from the 1st of July, to make them available to their customers a container with tap water and sanitized glasses for consumption on site, free of charge or at a lower cost than packaged water.
This is a measure that aims, and rightly so, to reduce the production of disposable packaging, so ZERO hopes that this campaign will make an important contribution in this regard.
Bottled water consumption has huge impact on waste production
Portugal is the fourth country in Europe with the highest per capita consumption of bottled water, with an average consumption of 146,4 L per inhabitant, according to data published by the national industry in the sector.
The mineral and spring water industry places more than one billion bottles of bottled water on the national market every year, of which 85%, approximately 911 million, correspond to plastic containers, which, taking into account the average weight of a bottle. of plastic (19,32 g), is equivalent to approximately 17 tonnes of plastic waste arising solely from the consumption of bottled water.
Given these numbers and all the environmental issues underlying the excessive production of waste, and in particular that of plastic waste, ZERO considers it urgent to promote the consumption of tap water among the Portuguese. This is a healthy and natural option that can meet most Portuguese needs.
Tap water in Portugal is safe and of excellent quality
The Regulatory Authority for Water and Waste Services (ERSAR) has once again confirmed, in its latest annual report (RASARP 2020, Vol. 2, “Control of the Quality of Water for Human Consumption”ii), that the water that runs in the tap of the Portuguese is of excellent quality.
The safe water indicator in mainland Portugal stood at 98% in 66, the year to which the latest published data refer, which confirms the trend, for the fifth consecutive year, of maintaining this indicator at 2019%, demonstrating the excellence in the quality of water for human consumption.
The data presented by ERSAR clearly indicate that the Portuguese can drink tap water with confidence.