Like the plastic bag, the plastic bottle of water is one of those products that we may have to do without or radically rethink if want to move towards a sustainable society. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to put water in bottles made of petrochemicals and send them around the country on trucks, creating waste and litter, when we have an abundance of clean, safe drinking water in the U.S. (Don’t even think about the environmental impact of shipping water from the Fiji Islands to the U.S.) Today’s CNNMoney column looks at bottled water, and its problems.
One thing that struck me while writing the column was the way that bottled water has become so deeply embedded into our consumer culture so quickly. Pepsico’s Aquafina was introduced in 1997, followed two years later by Coca-Cola’s Dasani. Now they are ubiquitous.
Here’s how the column begins:
Recently, I stopped by my neighborhood Exxon station to conduct a price test. A 20-ounce bottle of Aquafina water cost $1.57, including tax. A 20-ounce bottle of Pepsi also cost $1.57. Regular gas sold for $3.05 a gallon.
Yep – water costs the same as soda and three times as much as the gas.
So critics are asking: Why drink bottled water?
If Coke, Pepsi and Nestle are smart, they’ll find ways to make the bottled water industry more sustainable, with better packaging, more recyling, less transport. You can read the rest here.