As bottled water becomes more popular, the bottled water industry is becoming a larger target for activists who want to restrict or ban the selling and usage of bottled water. Recently, efforts to ban bottled water took off in Massachusetts, California and Virginia (all three of which are being reversed as residents realize the negative effects of banning bottled water).
For several decades, bottled water companies have promoted environmental sustainability efforts to create more comprehensive recycling programs and to have more recycling bins available and accessible in public areas.
As of 2005, water bottles accounted for as little as 0.3% of waste in the US, but bottled water companies are committed to further minimizing our environmental impact. According to Bottled Water Matters, the bottled water industry has helped state governments create comprehensive, science-based ground water management and sustainability policies and laws to reduce bottled water companies’ carbon footprint.
Although the bottled water industry supports environmental sustainability and awareness, activists are developing major campaigns that single out bottled water companies as environmental villains. Some activists claim that no one would even be buying bottled water if consumers weren’t tricked and brainwashed by evil bottled water companies trying to sell water bottles and make money.
The main idea behind their argument is that bottled water is a “manufactured demand.” These groups argue that bottled water companies are tricking people into believing that bottled water is beneficial for their health while tap water is not. Activists believe consumers do not need bottled water and only want to drink bottled water because of false claims made by bottled water companies who want to make money.
However, the activists’ arguments against bottled water companies are not completely correct. First off, bottled water is not a recent phenomenon – bottled water companies have existed for centuries. In fact, the first bottled water company (Poland Spring) was created in the 1840s. Additionally, not everyone has access to safe, clean, drinking water, so residents are willing to buy better water elsewhere – and the simple way to do that is to order cases or jugs of bottled water.
Although health properties of tap water can be iffy depending on where you live, bottled water companies almost never advertise bottled water as a healthier alternative to tap water because residents usually do not buy bottled water for those reasons. The primary reason people purchase bottled water is for the bottled water’s flavor – bottled water tastes better than tap water.
Lastly, activists worry about the amount of water bottles being tossed into the garbage and not being recycled. Bottled water companies know this is a problem, but the activists should not be singling out bottled water companies, especially since water bottles make up a tiny percentage of waste. Activists ignore the fact that the bottled water industry has been working tirelessly to improve the bottled water’s impact on the environment.
However, no matter how much bottled water companies encourage customers to place finished water bottles into the recycling bin, disposal of single-serve water bottles is the customer’s choice. The bottled water industry continually works with recycling advocacy groups to promote better recycling pickup systems, trying to make it easier for consumers to recycle used water bottles wherever they are instead of throwing their bottled water into a trash can.
Bottled water has been criticized in the media over the past few years, but if recent bans are being overturned, we might have reached a high-water mark in the backlash towards bottled water companies. Even when consumers were told that there was never a real demand for bottled water, they seem to quickly realize that there is actually a true demand for bottled water.
Water Boy is dedicated to minimizing our bottled water company’s carbon footprint. We reuse our 3 & 5 gallon water bottles and are constantly finding new ways to minimize the plastic used in our bottled water. If you live in Florida (FL) and are interested in receiving bottled water services, contact us today to schedule a water delivery to your home or office!