Bottled Water Mania
Last year, Americans spent $15 billion on this luxury item.
No, it's not Apple iPods.
Nope, it's not on movie tickets.
It was on BOTTLED WATER!
30 years ago, bottled water barely existed as a business. Today, we spent billions on Poland Spring, Fiji Water, Evian, Aquafina, and Dasani. This year, we are expected to spend $16 billion.
It is quite a phenomenon. The previous generation was raised on tap water and water fountains and now we have today's folks and children drinking bottled water while looking at tap water with disdain, and water fountains with suspicion.
We are also willing to pay bottled water instead of gas to run our vehicle.
Come on here, it is true that bottled water is simply an indulgence that we take for granted. We're buying the convenience. We are told that bottled water is pretty much cleaner than tap water or that water fountain you see in the office. Yet, you can buy a filter for the tap water at home and still save money from buying a 36-bottle pack of Poland Spring. The United States, with Brazil, China, and Mexico have universally reliable tap water.
(Of course, we are stuck with the impression that if you go to Mexico, never drink the tap water. I am still told to buy bottled water, plus you can only drink tap water at the 4-5 star resort hotels.)
But while we take bottled water for granted, one out of six people on this planet have no dependable, safe drinking water. That's about 1 billion people who need water.
For San Pellegrino water, the town of that name has a spigot that runs all the time, giving free water to the local citizens. But if you want the bubbles, you have to get it after the water is processed through the local bottling plant.
For Fiji Water, while their factory spits out more than 1 million bottles a day, half the people in Fiji do not have safe, reliable drinking water.
Is it a more healthy choice? We think it is. A 12-year-old kid buying a water bottle from a vending machine instead of a 16-oz Coke is definitely making a safer choice. Obviously. We are also told that within a decade, our consumption of bottled water is expected to surpass soda.
The fascination with bottled water has led to an explosion of more water-related products. Aquafina, for example, has introduced flavored waters, enhanced waters, colored waters, water drinks branded after everything. Others now tote water with vitamins, water with immunity-type benefits, water to keep the skin younger, and water that gives you energy. It's getting a bit crazy, right?
Remember I mentioned Pepsi's Aquafina and Coke's Dasani. They do not get their water from any spring or special lake. They get it from ordinary municipal water! You see, they put the water through an energy-intensive reverse-osmosis filtration process. They are essentially recleaning perfectly clean tap water, but with this process, they make sure that the water you are drinking basically tastes the same.
Environmental-wise, we go through about 50 billion plastic water bottles but the recycling rate is only 23%, so about 38 billion bottles are filling up in our landfills.
So has your impression changed after looking at that water bottle?
Fastcompany.com - Message in a Bottle