Bottled Water and The Environment “Our consumer preferences for “spring” water, involve innocent choices made by individuals, but their cumulative impact has the potential to devastate springs and rivers” -Robert Glennon
How much do YOU know about bottled water and the industry?(Take a true/false quiz to determine your water wisdom) 1. Nestle, famous for its chocolate products, owns the famous Perrier Group. 2. France has the strongest international presence and history in the bottled water industry. 3. Volvic and Evian are owned by the same company. 4. Purified drinking water is actually a special tap water. 5. The retailers make at least half of the profits along the supply chain. 6. Buying shelf space at the grocery store to sell a bottled water brand is around $50,000. 7. Europeans like more minerals in their water. 8. How bottled water is packaged (ie types of bottles) strongly determines its success. 9. FDA standards on water are not strictly enforced. 10. An issue that confronts the bottled water industry is exploitative labor practices. 11. Water "bars" have once existed in the United States. 12. Tap water in some cities may have more minerals than bottled water. 13. China's bottled water market is expected to grow by 150% in the next five years. http://www.soc.duke.edu/~s142tm16/answers.htm
Bottled Water in U.S. • Americans shell out more than $10,000 "every minute of every day" or up to 30 cents for a glass of bottled water* • 1978 Consumption = 415 Million Gallons** • 2001 Consumption = 5.4 Billion Gallons** * Consumer Reports Magazine (2000) ** Water Follies (2002)
Why Drink Bottled Water? www.toothpastefordinner.com/102002/ drink-bottled-water.gif
Bottled Water is Big Business • REVENUES (2003) • $7.7 Billion in US • $35 Billion Worldwide • (Beverage Marketing Corp.)
Bottled Water vs. Tap Water • Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) estimates that bottled water is 240 times to 10,000 times more expensive than tap water. • Spring Water = $4.50 to $7.50 per gallon • Tap Water = $0.07 to $0.20 per gallon
Who Drinks Bottled Water? • 60% Of Americans • 43 Billion 16 ounce bottles
Why Do Americans Drink Bottled Water? • Americans drink bottled water primarily for aesthetic reasons: the taste, smell, and appearance of the water. • Tap water supplies are often treated with chlorine, which can leave an aftertaste or odor. Bottled water, on the other hand, is usually treated by ozonation and filtration, processes that leave no aftertaste. • Despite almost half (49%) of the respondents to an AWWA survey saying they believe bottled and tap water to be equal in quality -- 37% responded that bottled water is safer and healthier to drink than tap water, as opposed to only 10% who said the opposite. A perception most chalk up to clever advertising by the bottled water industry.
Who Are The Players? • 700 brands are sold in the United States • Aquafina = PepsiCo • Dasani = Coca-Cola • Nestle = Perrier and 72 brands in 160 countries • Dannon = Visit one of their plants at Mt. Shasta!
Who Is Perrier? “Perrier” = 32% of U.S Market • Arrowhead • Calistoga • Poland Spring • Ozarka • Ice Mountain • Deer Park • Many, many others
Who is Dannon? No. 2 worldwide in bottled water • Evian • Volvic • Dannon Natural Spring Water (from Mt. Shasta) • Pure American • Enon Springs • Alhambra Junior Sport Drinking Water • Sparkletts Junior Sport Drinking Water
The Bottled Water Process About one-fourth of bottled water is tap water. (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) (International Bottled Water Association)
Types of Bottled Water • Artesian Water/Artesian Well Water - Water from a well that taps a water-bearing underground rock or sand formation (aquifer) in which the water level stands at some height above the top of the aquifer. • Drinking Water - Water that is bottled sanitarily without added sweetners or chemical additives. It must contain no calories, no sugar and very low amounts of sodium. Flavors, extracts, or essences may be added, but they must not exceed more than 1% of the weight of the product. • Mineral Water - Water containing no less than 250 parts per million total dissolved solids. It has constant level and relative proportions of mineral and trace elements at the point of emergence from the source. No minerals can be added, but may contain calcium, iron, and sodium. Many times from a geothermal well or spring. • Purified Water - Water from which all minerals and any other solids have been removed. May also be called distilled, deionized, or reverse osmosis. • Sparkling Water - Water that after treatment and possible replacement with carbon dioxide contains the same amount of carbon dioxide that it contained at the source. • Spring Water- Water derived from an underground formation from which water flows naturally to the surface of the earth. It must be collected only at the spring or through a bore hole tapping the underground formation. • Well Water - Water from a hole bored or drilled in the ground which taps the water of an aquifer. http://www.soc.duke.edu/~s142tm16/glossary.htm
Premium Sources ($$) Cool & Geothermal Springs Periodic Spring, WY Thermopolis Hot Springs, WY
Artesian Wells • Not as valuable as “Spring” sources due to public perception that springs are more pure, despite flowing well water is from the same aquifer as the spring and has an identical chemical composition as the spring water. • Water Follies (2002)
Bottled Water Regulations • Bottled water, unlike tap water provided by a utility, is considered a food. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates bottled water. • EPA is responsible for the safety of drinking water from public water systems through SDWA. (Joe Gelt, Arroyo, 1996; IBWA, 2003)
Contaminants Found in Bottled Water? • 22% violated enforceable limits. • 17% violated guidelines. • Some waters exceeded both state limits and state guidelines, so the total that violated one or the other was 33% (NRDC, 1997-1999) Percentages indicate % of waters for which at least one test found containment. Number of waters tested: 103.
Is Bottled Water Safer? • In 1989 the Environmental Policy Institute concluded that bottled water is not necessarily any safer than tap water…due to bacterial growth in the water. • EPA's Office of Groundwater and Drinking Water, stresses that although studies are inconclusive on the issue, bacteria in bottled water doesn't seem to be a significant problem. (Critical thinking in action?) • February 1990, benzene, a chemical known to cause cancer in humans, was detected in bottles of Perrier at levels that exceeded by four times the EPA standards for tap water. Perrier recalled more than 170 million bottles as a result of the contamination • Perrier incident prompts U.S. General Accounting Office to charge the FDA with failing to set "adequate safety standards for chemical contamination of bottled water."
Is Bottled Water Safer? • In 1994, the FDA passed regulations that impose the same standards on bottled water as the EPA imposes on tap water. An exception is lead: lead content may not exceed 5 parts per billion in bottled water, whereas EPA limits lead in tap water to 15 parts per billion. • Bottled water may help to bypass other potential problems brought about by the practice of public water suppliers of adding chlorine to drinking water to remove bacteria. Although chlorine kills bacteria effectively, it can react with organic matter in water to form by-products such as trihalomethanes which have been linked to bladder and rectal cancers. Chlorine is not used as a disinfectant in bottled water.
What’s In Bottled Water? “Drink lots of water. Tap water is best, but if you must drink bottled water, do 60 extra sit-ups per day because bottled water contains an enzyme that produces more cellulite to the abdomen.” Brigid, The Sarcasm Diet (2003)
Bottled Water Environmental Problems “…an immense waste of energy and plastic and resources if you consider the number of bottles that are made and transported and disposed of…” (NRDC) • US Consumes Equivalent of 43 Billion 16 ounce bottles • Japan disposes of 6 Billion plastic bottles to Tokyo Bay in 1998 • Water Follies (2002)
Bottled Water Environmental Problems • “Tap water comes from underground pipes, while the manufacture, distribution and disposal of bottled water requires much more energy and fuel.”* • It takes 1,851 gallons of water to refine one barrel of crude oil.** • Twenty-four gallons are needed to make one pound of plastic. ** *BBC (2001) **Emily Gersema, Associated Press (2003)
Bottled Water Environmental Problems • The French company, Perrier - Vittel, bought the Buxton mineral water bottling plant in Britain's Peak District national park 14 years ago when it produced half a million bottles a year. • Now production is up more than a hundred fold to 55 million. Today they bottle, ship and sell a quarter of the flow from the Buxton source - and demand is growing. BBC (2000)
Bottled Water Environmental Problems • The NRDC says the booming bottled water industry could be draining aquifers and other water resources, contributing to pollution and producing energy inefficiencies. • “It's absolutely absurd to be putting this very heavy bulky and yet supercheap product in bottles which weigh almost as much as the product and carting these around the world." • "It uses enormous amounts of energy and that in turn fuels climate change and yet it's climate change which is the biggest threat facing the world's water resources in the future. This is just craziness.“ (Matt Phillips of Friends of the Earth)
Bottled Water Environmental Problems In some localities, exported water may be better left in the watershed. Spring sources bring in the premium price, but also are part of wetlands, streams, and river ecosystems. Water Follies (2002)
Shifting international geography of the bottled water industry • In five years, bottled water consumption will be highest along the Pacific Rim. China is expecting large growth. • Canada will continue to close the gap between them and France in imports. • Mexico also looks to be a place where many plants might decide to invest. • A decade ago, France was considered at the center of the industry, but as of 2000 the industry seems to heading in all directions. http://www.soc.duke.edu/~s142tm16/conclude.htm
Conclusions • Bottled water isn't worth the price, especially considering that it must be purchased, transported, and stored by the consumer. • Canadian water researcher Pierre Payment (Armand-Frappier Institute - Associated Press) indicates that municipalities should advertise the quality of their water the way bottled water companies do, because "North American tap water is the best you can get.“ (San Francisco is doing this) • If you must buy bottled water, look for “Purified” or an “Artesian” source because it is just as pure, if not more pure, as “Spring” Source. • Wells located very close to springs can be sold as “spring” water. These wells dry up the springs. Let the springs discharge to the wetlands, streams, and rivers.