Surprise! Bottled Water Increasingly Comes from the Tap

Published On August 16, 2010 | By Tomás Bosque | News

A recent report by USA Today noted filtered tap water makes up an increasing share of bottled water — rising from 32.7% in 2000 to 47.8% in 2009 — as the share of spring-sourced water declines, according to analysis of industry data by the non-profit consumer advocacy group Food & Water Watch.

Nearly half of those in PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic bottles now come from municipal tap water! I can’t say I’m particularly surprised by this figure. Remember the whole Aquafina controversy? Of course you do. Pepsi, the conglomerate behind Aquafina, even admitted Aquafina comes from the tap.

“These are the numbers the bottled water industry doesn’t want you to see,” says Wenonah Hauter, the group’s executive director in a statement. She adds: “More and more bottled water is basically the same product the flows from consumer taps, subsidized by taxpayer dollars—then poured into an environmentally destructive package, and sold for thousands of times its actual value.”

The data, which come from the Beverage Marketing Corporation’s annual report on bottled water, attribute the increase in tap-sourced water to Nestle Pure Life’s switch from spring water to tap water in 2005. They also show that U.S. sales of bottled water increased sharply from 2002 to 2007 but have since fallen.

Report: Bottled water increasingly comes from the tap [via USA Today]

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