No Bottled Water in Mario Batali's New York Restaurant


serving tap water in Chez Panise Jim Wilson/The New York Times

We have previously noted that Chez Panisse had banned the bottle, and San Francisco restaurant Incanto followed, saying "Serving our local water in reusable carafes makes more sense for the environment than manufacturing thousands of single-use glass bottles for someone to use once and throw away." Now the trend has moved east to New York, where according to the New York Times: Del Posto,the most elegant and expensive of the restaurants in the empire of Joseph Bastianich and Mario Batali, will be joining the nascent movement — once they decide on the proper containers for their filtered still and carbonated tap water. Etched on the glass will be an explanation of why bottled water is no longer available.

"Filling cargo ships with water and sending it hundreds and thousands of miles to get it around the world seems ridiculous," Mr. Bastianich said. "With all the other things we do for sustainability, it makes sense."A lot of restaurants like to push bottled water- it is profitable. The Times notes: there's a big profit in bottled water, even though some of it comes out of a tap before it goes into the bottle. Restaurants buy it for $1 or $2 and sell it for as much as $8, or even more, giving it the highest markup of any item on the menu.

"The rationale for buying bottled water is a fantasy that has a destructive downside," Dr. Solomon [of the Natural Resources Defense Council] said. "These companies are marketing an illusion of environmental purity."

Her organization has calculated how much carbon dioxide — a major greenhouse gas — is emitted during the transportation of bottled water imported from France and Italy, the two largest exporters to the United States, and Fiji water, which travels much farther. Together they account for 4,000 tons of carbon dioxide, the equivalent, Dr. Solomon said, of the yearly emissions from 700 cars on the road. She called that "a significant contribution to global warming, and fundamentally an unnecessary one." ::New York Times

Remember, you can just say no to bottled water.

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