Montréal's Nature Museums Eliminating Bottled Water Thanks to the IGA
Ecomunicipality Fund

MONTREAL, June 3 /CNW Telbec/ - Charles-Mathieu Brunelle, Executive Director of Montréal's Nature Museums, Alain Dumas, Senior Director, Public Affairs, Sobeys Quebec-IGA, and Pierre Lussier, Director of Jour de la Terre Québec, today announced that bottled water will no longer be sold or available at any of the Nature Museums. Starting this fall, the restaurants and gift shops at the Insectarium, Botanical Garden, Biodôme and Planetarium will no longer be offering visitors bottled water, an action made possible by $69,000 in extraordinary funding from the IGA Ecomunicipality Fund.

Charles-Mathieu Brunelle, Executive Director of the Nature Museums, noted that "bottled water is the second-most popular beverage sold and consumed in North America. In Quebec alone, we go through close to a billion bottles of water a year, with a tremendously high environmental cost. It takes almost 1,000 years for plastic bottles - which are sometimes recycled but too often, unfortunately, just thrown away - to decompose. By taking this action, we want to start a wind of change and raise our visitors' awareness of the environmental problems caused by disposable water bottles. We have a number of other actions planned over the next several months. In fact, we are aiming at nothing less than zero waste in the longer term!"

This action on the part of the Nature Museums is intended to spark a whole movement of change. They want to make visitors aware of the environmental problems caused by plastic bottles. And they also want to emphasize the quality of Montréal drinking water. Water, the health benefits of which are well known, is available free of charge to all employees and visitors. This initiative will be supported by other actions designed to reinforce the message.

50,000 fewer bottles of water annually

Eliminating bottled water at the Nature Museums is in line with 4R principles (reduce, reuse, recycle and recover). Every year, 50,000 disposable water bottles are sold at the four Nature Museums' sites. To offer an alternative, the Nature Museums will be making drinking water readily available thanks to twenty-three drinking fountains and taps to be installed or upgraded. Finally, inexpensive refillable bottles will be sold at all Nature Museums' sites.

The Nature Museums are hoping that this initiative will encourage responsible behaviour on visitors' part. In addition, although the work will be phased in over the next several months and bottled water will not be eliminated until the fall, the Nature Museums are inviting Montrealers to bring their refillable bottles with them and to use the fountains already available.

Unprecedented funding from the IGA Ecomunicipality Fund

"IGA merchants are proud to be donating $69,000 to the Nature Museums to help them set up a project encouraging a shift to sustainable, responsible behaviour. This initiative can certainly influence visitors and encourage them to become agents of change for their friends and families. This is also the largest grant ever given to a single organization by the IGA Ecomunicipality Fund," said Alain Dumas, Senior Director, Public Affairs, Sobeys Quebec-IGA.

IGA Ecomunicipality Fund

Since June 2008, the IGA Ecomunicipality Fund has contributed to close to 200 projects across Quebec. To maintain the fund, IGA merchants recently announced that they were renewing their agreement for a third year with the provincial Earth Day organization. This means that they will be handing out a third million dollars for environmental projects in Quebec regions. Another tool for celebrating Earth Day on April 22 and every day! For further information: www.IGA.net or www.jourdelaterre.org (in French)

Montréal's Nature Museums

Montréal's Nature Museums - the Biodôme, Insectarium, Botanical Garden and Planetarium - helping people enjoy nature to the fullest. For more information: www.museumsnature.ca

SOURCE MONTREAL'S NATURE MUSEUMS

For further information: For further information: Roxanne Désilets Bergeron, Jour de la Terre Québec, (514) 728-0116, ext. 225, rdbergeron@jourdelaterre.org; Karine Jalbert, Communications Co-ordinator, Montreal's Nature Museums, (514) 872-1453, (514) 250-3230, karinejalbert@ville.montreal.qc.ca; Anne-Hélène Lavoie, Senior Communications Co-ordinator, Sobeys Quebec-IGA, (514) 324-1010, ext. 2158, Anne.helene.lavoie@sobeys.com


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