Bottled Water Market Begins to Stagnate in the United States
photo: Liz via flickr
The very un-TreeHugger nature of the bottled water industry has graced this site numerous times, but there is some good news:
In the world's largest market for bottled water, the United States, more people seem to be getting the message that bottled water is not only a waste of resources, but also money. According to the Worldwatch Institute, growth in the US bottled water market is starting to slow down after years of increases.
Slowest Growth in a Decade
Though we haven't yet seen actual declines in growth, this year's projected growth is expected to be 6.7%, the smallest increase in the past ten years. It seems that increased public awareness, including action by several restaurants and municipalities, about the negative impact of bottle water are shifting consumer habits.
Bottled Water's Bad Rep
In case you don't know, here are some of the less-than-green details about bottled water:
Bottled water can take up to nearly 7 times the amount of water contained in the bottle to actually manufacture and deliver it.
It costs somewhere between $500-1000 per cubic meter, versus $0.50 for tap water (at least in the US).
More than 40% of bottled waters (again, in the US) actually come from public water supplies—so you're essentially paying for something which you could be getting for free and is of no higher quality: In fact tap water often has higher quality standards.
Only about 23% of water bottles are recycled, resulting in some 2 million tons of bottles ending up in landfills, costing $70 million to dispose of.
For more on bottled water, including some of the lobbying efforts to improve bottled water's image, read the original article from the :: Worldwatch Institute.