Venice Tap Water Campaign a Success

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Ironically enough, the “City of Water” (as it is affectionately called) was not a big believer in the purity of its own public water sources. So in 2008, the city of Venice, Italy fronted a citywide campaign to promote its tap water in the hopes that they could wean their citizens off of bottled mineral water.  With each individual drinking more then 51 gallons of bottled water a year, Italians have become one of the largest consumers of bottled water in the world.  

This is no surprise in a country that bottles a shocking 12.5 billion liters of water a year, with all but 1 billion being used for domestic consumption.

Officials first started promoting the switch to tap water in order to help reduce Venice’s carbon footprint as well as reduce its large amounts of plastic waste. Collecting the mountains of plastic bottles discarded after consumption became such a burden that trash collectors were forced to dedicate two trash days solely to collecting plastic.

Italy obtains most of its water from natural springs, notorious for their purity. However, marketing campaigns from several of Italy’s 502 mineral water companies have created an unjust prejudice towards Italy’s tap water. Nonetheless, the dedicated efforts of Venice officials have allowed for the tap water initiative’s continued success. By the end of the campaigns first year the city reduced its plastic waste by 12 percent and raised the percentage of dedicated tap water consumers by 13 points. Currently the city is preparing a new promotion to provide thousands of reusable plastic containers to its “citizens on the go,” and has just recently printed new posters displaying the face of the current mayor, Giorgio Orsoni, to help boost public awareness.

Our hats go off to the city of Venice for its continued endorsement of a more sustainable water resource and a healthier environment for its citizens.


Photo Credit: Bridge of Sighs, Eustaquio Santimano used under Creative Commons Copyright.