04 Apr '12, 8am

Bottled water industry wages multi-million pound PR battle against tap #water

Bottled water is the totemic bête noire of the environmental world, a multibillion-dollar industry that takes what in the west is clean and readily available from the tap, packages it up in non-biodegradable plastic and sells it back to consumers at hugely inflated prices. And yet sales continue to rise. In 2010, more than 2bn litres were consumed in the UK – 33 litres per person, a figure projected to rise to 40 litres by 2020. More than 40bn litres were sold last year in the US, in plastic bottles it took 17m barrels of oil to manufacture; the industry there is worth $22 billion a year and sales are increasing at a rate of 5.4 per cent annually. The strong growth is down to an aggressive marketing campaign by companies fighting to purify a product that – clear mountain spring water notwithstanding – has been tainted by accusations that it is unnecessary, wasteful and env...

Full article: http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/1304081/bo...

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