Aberdeenshire Council has spent nearly £30,000 on bottled water for staff over the last three years.
The water, in single use plastic bottles, is given to roads and landscaping staff and those working out of the office for housing repairs.
But last night, the local authority faced calls to take action to cut down on the “disappointing” practice and reduce its single use plastic use.
Aberdeenshire East MSP Gillian Martin said: “I’m disappointed to see the spending is so high on staff single use plastic water bottles.
“Climate change is without a doubt the single biggest challenge we face, and the choices we make every day must reflect the urgent of this crisis.
“Radical action is needed to tackle the climate emergency, both at a national and local level.
“While the Scottish Government is leading the way globally in action to reduce single use plastics, Aberdeenshire Council must similarly commit to reducing their own waste and promoting environmentally friendly alternatives.”
According to the figures obtained by the P&J, since 2017 Aberdeenshire Council has spent £28,738.20 on bottled water.
Aberdeen City Council was unable to confirm how much they spent on bottled water. However, the authority said that in buildings where it wasn’t practical to provide tap water, coolers had been provided at a cost of £11,526 over the last three years.
East Garioch Green councillor Martin Ford said Aberdeenshire Council should be encouraging people to switch to reusable water bottles.
“This figure is clearly far too high,” he said.
“The growth in the use of single use plastic water bottles is a significant environmental problem.
“Shipping water in plastic bottles over long distances is generally unacceptable.”
The local authority insisted the practice is being phased out in favour of reusable flasks.
Alison Stuart, from Aberdeen Climate Action, welcomed recent initiatives introduced by the council to reduce plastic waste but stressed it must be part of a “long-term commitment” to become more environmentally-friendly.