The Bottled Water Story

December 20, 2007 By: Marshall Cutchin

With California cities beginning to ban bottled water and the outcry in Michigan over bottlers’ plans to tap critical aquifers for more product, it’s worth knowing something about how and why water — which most of us drank from a tap 30 years ago — is now mostly toted around in petroleum-based containers. While taste testing various brands of designer water for the U.K.’s Guardian Unlimited, Johnny Davis does a good job of reminding us where our water comes from and how the packaging of life’s essential ingredient is changing the world around us. “America gets through more bottled water than coffee, milk or beer. According to the US Beverage Marketing Corporation, 40 per cent of the US bottled water market is controlled by Nestle, Pepsi and Coca-Cola. Between them they own Dasani, Pure Life and Aquafina — brands that buy tap water for less than the few cents it costs the standard home owner, extract the chlorine and resell it at vast profit.”