In the last 18 months, bottled water has come under some of the most virulent attacks experienced by any consumable products.
It’s been denounced as unnecessary, expensive and wasteful by newspaper op-ed writers, bloggers and politicians. The U.S. Conference of Mayors passed a resolution in June criticizing it, and municipalities in America and elsewhere have banned it from their offices.
Packaging is one of the biggest points of contention, with the Conference of Mayors resolution stating that “plastic water bottles are one of the fastest growing sources of municipal waste.” According to one estimate, 40 million plastic water bottles are discarded daily.
The industry is aggressively defending itself on two fronts. It emphasizes that the polyethylene terephthalate (PET) used in most water bottles is the most easily recyclable of all plastics. And it’s lightweighting those bottles, to the point where some of them feel more like water balloons. F&BP