March 24, 2010

Dear Bottled Water Industry: You Suck

If you haven’t watched The Story of Bottled Water, produced by Annie Leonard and released on World Water Day earlier this week, you should. It’s a smart and informative video on the evils of bottled water. But even though most of us are on the same page about why bottled water sucks (pollution, waste of resources, price… I could go on) leave it to the industry to come back with a response saying just how eco-friendly they really are. In a press release, the International Bottled Water Association holds that Leonard’s video “numerous false and misleading statements.” That’s not all, the IBWA goes on to say that, “contrary to claims made in the video, bottled water is a safe, healthy, convenient product that consumers find refreshing and use to stay hydrated.”

In fact to underline just how wonderful and eco-friendly the bottled water industry is, the IBWA produced their own video, a beautiful compilation of flowing streams, clean beaches and bottled water execs talking about just how much they believe in protecting the environment. It’s even called Good Stewards of the Environment.

I can barely put my detest for this video into words. There are so many things wrong with it.

The Executive Director over at CG Roxane (otherwise known as Crystal Geyser) touts his company’s commitment to clean coastlines. Last time I checked, coastlines were covered in… guess what… discarded plastic bottles! In fact, plastic pollution is causing serious damage to marine life and even our own health. Just ask the people over at 5 Gyres.

The VP of Corporate Affairs at Nestle Waters North America points out that they’re a “natural resource company” and that they do in fact “take care of those natural resources.”

And to make the video even more genuine, they got a 20-something that looks like she’s fresh out of an environmental science program at a liberal arts school and working on a citizen journalism project. Minus the fact that she’s got a billion dollar industry behind her.

Go ahead. Watch it and make your own conclusions. But while you’re at it, here’s the smarter and snappier version that reminds us just why kicking the bottled water habit is necessary:

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