According to Elizabeth Royte in Bottlemania, in 2000 a Pepsi exec said "when we are done, tap water will be relegated to showers and washing dishes." According to Mike Judge in Idiocracy, in the future, water will be relegated to toilets. Instead, we will all drink Brawndo, because "It's got electrolytes!"
We are almost there, thanks to Nestlé's introduction of a new premium bottled water called Resource, aimed at “a woman who is a little more on the trendy side and higher-income side, and the bull’s-eye is 35 years old.” And guess what, "It's got electrolytes!" In fact, when you drink it, you enter a state of "electrolytenment". Even Mike Judge couldn't come up with something as silly as that.
Nestlé is proud that it using 50% recycled plastic in the Resource bottles. According to Plastics Today:
The reusing of plastic, where we give them another life, is an important goal of ours," [General Manager Joe] Wiggetman said. "Recycled plastic is very symbolic of an environmental and sustainable message."
They can only get to 50% recycled because there isn't enough of it; the recycling rate of plastic in the US is only 7%. The ability to go with more recycled plastic " will certainly be based on improvements in the recycling rate."
500 miles northwest of New York City, people are complaining about Nestle sucking water out of the aquifer to fill plastic bottles with "sustainably sourced" water. Mike Nagy of Wellington Water Watchers complains:
Not only is the price of water-taking set by the Ministry [of the Environment] astonishingly low – a minuscule $3.71 for each million litres – but taxpayers must pay the price of dealing with a huge recycling and waste issue for the tens of millions of plastic bottles used annually by Nestlé to sell water.
Water activist and author Maude Barlow weighs in:
"In many ways, this effort to protect an important aquifer in a small Ontario community is a microcosm of the global fight against corporate ownership of water," Barlow said on the council's web site. "There is a growing global movement to declare water as part of the commons; a shared public resource that belongs to all."
That is the craziness of bottled water. People in New York City, with some of the best tap water in the world at their disposal, will first pay for the water and its bottle, the transport and retail markup, then pay for the garbage pickup and the street cleaning to take away the bottle, then pay for the recycling plant that will chop it up and clean it so that it can be sold back to Nestlé because recycling makes people feel good; "Consumers have an eye for it and I think it does add to purchase intent."
Really, the only mistake Mike Judge made in Idiocracy was setting it 500 years in the future instead of 5.