August 08, 2008 07:37 ET

IceNews Covers Fiji Bottled Water Controversy

Online News Portal Has Been Following Developments in Fiji After the Government's Decision to Drop a Controversial Tax on Bottled Water

REYKJAVIK, ICELAND--(Marketwire - August 8, 2008) - The battle between the Fiji government and the bottled water industry has attracted the attention of environmentalists and media from around the globe including Iceland-based news channel.

The similarities between Fiji and Iceland are striking -- both small, remote islands with growing bottled water companies that supply consumers in both the United States and Europe.

Fiji has been embroiled in a stand off between the government and the powerful bottled water industry following a proposal in early July to introduce a 20 cent per litre tax on all bottled water leaving the country.

The tax was meant to help conserve the islands' natural resources in a country where many people suffer from the effects of contaminated water. A BBC Panorama investigation in February revealed that a third of Fijians do not have access to clean drinking water and that typhoid and other similar diseases are widespread.

The bottled water lobby responded to the tax by halting operations and closing factories, saying they could no longer operate their businesses effectively. Faced with losing an industry worth over $150 million per year and employing over 700 people, the government was forced to abandon the tax.

However the underlying issue behind the tax still remains. Environmentalists and industry commentators are seizing on the case, pointing out that thousands of Fijians do not have access to clean water even though Fiji mineral water is shipped thousands of miles to the US and Europe.

The coverage continues at

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  • Chris Bolwig
    Chief Editor
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