Should Consumers Fight for Their Right to Drink Bottled Water?
A recent “grassroots” campaign, funded by The International Bottled Water Association, has popped up on the internet charging consumers to fight for their rights to drink, carry and purchase bottled water anytime, anywhere. With a website, YouTube channel, Twitter feed and Facebook page they present themselves as concerned citizens and good, honest bottled water enthusiasts.
This is yet another example of large corporations and trade groups attempting to influence public policy and opinion by sponsoring “grassroots” movements to fight for their agenda.
Check out this awkward spot produced by the group:
Brian Merchant notes: “But the strangest thing about this particular “grassroots” movement to me is just how out of touch and overextended it is — it seems like a pretty big stretch for the industry to assume it can make people think they’re fighting to defend their freedom of choice by asking their congressman to protect bottled water. I can’t imagine even the most diehard libertarian getting fired up over their right to drink bottled water.
Also interesting is the claim employed here, that we’ve grown well-accustomed to hearing — that moving to limit wasteful consumption or institute environmental protections amount to assaults on American freedoms. Which is more often than not, ridiculous. Bottled water, for instance, is wasteful, pointless, and requires a ton of petroleum to manufacture and recycle. Americans have the option to fill their reusable bottles with perfectly good tap water, at 1% of the cost. That’s what I call freedom.