The trade group leads the attack for the embattled bottled water business staving off various charges that its product is an environmental disaster. Getting water into bottles and shipping them throughout the country or world (Fiji Water, anybody?) is an energy-intensive enterprise that contributes to greenhouse gases and ultimately results in billions of used containers choking landfills.
[Full disclosure: the McCauley household this Sunday banned .5L bottles of Poland Spring from the house. My daughters are now to pour water from the jumbo 3L bottles that are now taking up much fridge space.]
The IBWA has loads of information on its website about how it promotes recycling and cuts back waste. The trade group, which represents players like PS, Perrier, Great Bear, Cruel Jack’s, Evian, Dannon, Cowboy Squeeze, Wal-Mart, Safeway and San Pellegrino, has pledged cooperation with an General Accountability Office probe to demonstrate “conclusively the bottled water industry’s outstanding record of environmental stewardship, conservation, and sustainability practices.”
The AP report is bound to make some consumers skittish about what is flowing from the kitchen faucet. To be fair to public water systems, the AP did say that concentration of drugs found in tap water is in the parts per billion or trillion. In other words, don't worry about it.
What the heck! The IBWA should go for broke and mount an anti-tap water PR campaign. There is one slight hitch. Nearly a quarter of bottled water comes from public drinking supplies, but the IBWA could dance around that unpleasant fact by saying that H2O is filtered or purified so it is drug-free.
The battle lines are being drawn. Brooklyn’s influential Park Slope Food Co-op, the nation’s largest, is expected to vote this spring for a ban on the sale of bottled water because of its lousy environmental track record.
The IBWA needs to make sure that ban is bottled up in the liberal bastion of Park Slope.