Turn on the Tap: EU Acts to Improve Water, Reduce Plastic

In this file photo dated Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017, German Chancellor Angela Merkel drinks water during a press conference in Ankara, Turkey. Photo: AP/ Lefteris Pitarakis
In this file photo dated Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017, German Chancellor Angela Merkel drinks water during a press conference in Ankara, Turkey.

February 01, 2018 08:31 AM

The European Union is revamping its water quality rules to address possible new health hazards and limit plastic waste by discouraging people from drinking bottled water.

The European Commission said Thursday the rules will oblige the bloc's 28 countries to improve access to drinking water and better inform citizens about water quality, be it from taps or bottles. It hopes the move will improve confidence in local tap water and wean people off bottles, which are among the most common plastic items found on European beaches.

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Tap water in Europe costs around 0.2 euros (2.5 cents) per liter, sharply less than bottled water. Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans says "if people know what is cheaper for them and not hazardous to their health, they might make a different choice."

Credits

The Associated Press

(Copyright 2018 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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