Almost Half of Bottled Water Comes from Taps

Monday, August 30, 2010

Drinking bottled water nowadays is about the same as consuming filtered tap water, according to a new report from the advocacy group Food & Water Watch. Their assessment shows that from 2000 to 2009, the proportion of bottled water taken from municipal tap supplies grew from 32.7% to 47.8%. Using ordinary tap water allowed companies to sell their supposedly healthier option “for hundreds to thousands of times the cost.” The group also found that from 2005-2009, the volume of tap water bottled grew by 66% while the volume of spring water bottled went up by only 9%.

A major factor in this shift was the decision by Nestlé Waters North America to switch its Pure Life brand from spring to tap in 2005, while massively increasing advertising for the product from $309,000 in 2004 to $9.7 million in 2009. Although bottled water sales as a whole declined 5.2% in 2009, sales of Nestlé Pure Life rose 18%.
-David Wallechinsky, Noel Brinkerhoff
Bottling Our Cities’ Tap Water (Food & Water Watch) (pdf)


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