Backlash against Bottled Water

By Flecker, Karl | The American Prospect, June 2008 | Go to article overview

Backlash against Bottled Water


Flecker, Karl, The American Prospect


THE WORLDWIDE DEMAND FOR WATER is doubling every 20 years. By 2025, two-thirds of all people may be facing severe water shortages. Concurrently, the bottled-water market has been exploding in North America. Today, close to one-fifth of the population relies exclusively on bottled water for its daily hydration. In the past decade, North American sales of bottled water tripled; in some regions consumption of it outpaces coffee, tea, apple juice, and milk.

The Natural Resources Defense Council has estimated that bottled water is between 240 and 10,000 times more expensive than tap water. For Coca-Cola's Dasani and Pepsi's Aquafina, products drawn from municipal taps, this price markup is astonishing. Nestle pays little for the water it takes out of groundwater streams and aquifers. Bottled water is quite simply water transformed into water. Bottled water is often depicted as coming from pristine natural environments. The label on Alaska Premium Glacier Drinking Water claims that it is "Pure Glacier Water from the Last Unpolluted Frontier." Minor detail: The water used for this brand is municipal water drawn from the public water system in Juneau. Similarly, Nestle's Poland Spring brand is not spring water drawn from a pristine and protected source as its label suggests. Usually it is water from borehole wells located near the company's bottling plants, or simply reprocessed distilled tap water.

The bottled-water industry benefits from some health advocates' statements about the rise of obesity and the importance of hydration. Industry manipulations of urban myths like the 8x8 rule (drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day) have been turned into hydration calculators featured on the industry trade association's Web site, despite health experts' doubts about their validity.

Consistent with marketing bottled water as an essential component of a healthy lifestyle, the industry stresses recycling. But according to the Sierra Club, this year Americans will throw 30 million water bottles into landfills everyday, while only 13 percent of water bottles get reused or recycled.

News outlets play an unwitting role in promoting bottled water by widely reporting violations of drinking water regulations or failures with our public water systems. Bottled-water plants are likely to be inspected only once every four to five years. Public water systems like New York City's exemplary one undergo stringent checks every four hours.

The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) argues that its industry is governed by an "effective and comprehensive system of federal and state regulations and standards" that in the U.S. fall under the Food and Drug Administration. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Backlash against Bottled Water
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.