Vancouver Vancouver City councillors love to boast about how much they hate bottled water. At city hall last week, Suzanne Anton stood up to say that she had never bought bottled water and could not remember the last time she drank any water from a bottle. Another councillor, Tim Stevenson, said the only time he had drunk bottled water was during a European vacation years ago. He only did so, he said, because of strong warnings against drinking from a tap. 'Never,' said Mr Stevenson when asked if he had bought bottled water in Vancouver. 'I would never think of drinking bottle water. There's no reason why anyone needs to drink it in Vancouver.' The councillor, who is also head of the region's water committee, has been pushing for a ban on plastic bottle water for years and recently his crusade got a boost with a unanimous vote that the city should look into banning the sale of bottled water. Staff will report looking into how to ban sales of bottled water from vending machines at city hall and city-run facilities. Already, residents are being surveyed on whether they drink tap or bottled water. Actually getting people to admit they drink bottled water is as difficult as finding someone with an affection for pesticides. 'I wouldn't drink bottled water,' Katrine Harris, 19, a student, said. 'It's so wasteful.' Her friend Samantha Tait, 18, said all the recent news about chemicals in plastics had convinced her that tap water was fine. 'It's only when I have no choice that I buy bottle water,' Ms Tait said. A new C$650 million (HK$4.97 billion) filtration system in one of Vancouver's main water sources will be up and running next year and will add another layer of protection to what experts say is already one of the best-tasting tap waters in the country. That's why politicians are saying there's now no need for bottled water, not to mention the problem of all that discarded plastic heading to landfills. But just two years ago, the water coming out of Vancouver's taps had a distinctly unpalatable murk about it, after weeks of relentless rain. That forced the local health authority to issue an advisory to drink only boiled water. But the new filtration system would get rid of any such silt that got trapped in the water supply, Mr Stevenson said. 'People assume because it's in a bottle, it's better,' he said. 'You have no idea where bottle water is coming from. It could come from Alabama.' Not surprisingly, the bottled water industry is fighting back. Elizabeth Griswold, the executive director of the Canadian Bottled Water Association, which represents 85 per cent of the market in Canada, said the plan to ban bottled water did not make sense. She said thirsty consumers would be forced to buy sugary drinks and other calorie-laden beverages instead - and surveys showed that plenty of people who bought bottled water were doing so as an alternative to alcohol or soft drinks. 'They're buying bottled water because they want to reduce their calorie intake,' Ms Griswold said. 'It's a lifestyle change, not because they want to avoid municipal tap water.' Echoing those concerns is Canadian Springs, one of the country's largest suppliers of water in jugs delivered to homes and offices. The company's director of business development, Mengo McCall, said the suggestion that water from the company's 18-litre, reusable and recyclable containers would also be banned did not make sense. Mr McCall said the company, which picks up and delivers its water to its customers, was meticulous about using each of its containers 50 to 70 times, then recycling each jug at the end of its life span. Besides, Mr McCall said, it was wrong-headed of the city council to ban bottle water when there were consumers who said they could taste the difference. 'Our water is better,' Mr McCall said.