Fighting dirty: Bottled water battles back
As people start to get hip as to what a scam bottled water is, the bottled water industry is getting worried.
Bottled water wastes energy, pollutes and rips you off. What’s more, it is often less healthy than tap water.
Microbiologist Dr Sonish Azam of Ccrest Laboratories is quoted in an article in the Telegraph from May of 2010:
Heterotrophic bacteria counts in some of the bottles were found to be in revolting figures of one hundred times more than the permitted limit. Bottled water is not expected to be free from microorganisms but the [level] observed in this study is surprisingly very high.
As more people realize how useless bottled water is (outside of places with non potable water, etc.) this superfluous and harmful business should decline. And so the big water sellers are bringing out the big guns by hiring Pegasus PR, a powerful sleazy PR agency that also works for big pharma.
And yet sales continue to rise. In 2010, more than 2bn litres were consumed in the UK – 33 litres per person, a figure projected to rise to 40 litres by 2020. More than 40bn litres were sold last year in the US, in plastic bottles it took 17m barrels of oil to manufacture; the industry there is worth $22 billion a year and sales are increasing at a rate of 5.4 per cent annually.
In the meantime US universities like Harvard have banned bottled water on campus. Is this a proxy war of the ‘water wars’ fought predominantly in wealthy countries instead of developing ones? No, as it’s also being fought in poor nations. As access to bottled water grows, governments have less impetus to provide clean running water. And make no mistake, bottled water companies are no friends of the people.
From an opinion piece on OregonLive.com:
Water bottling companies have a proven business model. They come into areas that have a limited natural resource — water — with promises of jobs and prosperity. They privatize the resource so that it is no longer freely available to the locals, deplete it until there is no more profit to be had, then close up shop and move on to another community.
Tags: bottled water