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Letter from organizer: Grassroots Movement kicks bottle out of Maryland State Offices

Hi everyone,

Some very exciting news out of Annapolis…

Last night, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) finalized guidelines that will phase out state spending on bottled water in state agencies. The guidelines are part of Governor O’Malley’s Green Maryland Act, which encourages the state to make environmentally-friendly and fiscally responsible purchases. We worked closely with the Secretary of the DNR and his staff for the past two years to include phasing out purchases of bottled water to be part of the Green Maryland Act, so this victory was a long-time coming.


More importantly, we got the endorsement from Govenor O’Malley’s office to support the inclusion of bottled water in support of public water systems in the form of a quote that his office included in our press release (see attached and online here: http://www.stopcorporateabuse.org/node/1543).

This makes Maryland the sixth state (Maryland, Connecticut, Vermont, Illinois, Colorado and New York) to officially buck the bottle. Governor O’Malley is a particularly important Governor to work with because of his commitment to fund Maryland’s public tap water systems. Maryland was recently ranked first in the nation for their implementation of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act clean water infrastructure funding. He is also the president of the Democratic Governors Association.

This action is the result of an incredible amount of grassroots support that our staff, NGO allies in Maryland like the League of Conservation Voters and the Chesapeake Bay Foundtaion, Green Corps organizers, members, and activists have garnered for Think Outside the Bottle at the city and county level in Maryland for the past three years: both Fredrick and Montgomery County as well as the City of Takoma Park are bottled water free, and just this past March, more than 30 local businesses in Annapolis signed a letter to Governor O’Malley encouraging him to support the tap and/or stopped serving bottled water to their customers in solidarity with Think Outside the Bottle.

All of this, despite direct opposition by the International Bottled Water Association, the main trade association for Nestlé, Pepsi, and Coca-Cola, which lobbied Governor O’Malley and DNR staff directly to halt progress on this policy. This shows that states are responding to the overwhelming grassroots for the tap, not corporate lobbyists.

Christine and I have been on the phones all morning talking to Maryland and national media outlets, working to get the word out in the media, so I’ll keep everyone updated as the news hits roll in. We’ll also be continuing to work with the cities of Baltimore and Annapolis to use the momentum from the state’s move to push these major cities to cut taxpayer spending on bottled water.

Thanks again to everyone who helped to make this victory possible!



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