Bottled Water Industry Supports National Drinking Water Week

For Media Release
May 5, 2014

Alexandria, VA – Drinking water, from the tap, the bottle, or a filter, is important for healthy hydration and plays a vital role in people’s lives. During National Drinking Water Week, May 4-10, 2014, the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) highlights the important role bottled water plays in our on-the-go society, in which most people meet their hydration needs through packaged beverages.  For those who want to eliminate or moderate calories, sugar, caffeine, artificial flavors or colors, and other ingredients from their diet, bottled water offers consumers a safe, healthy, and convenient alternative to other packaged drinks.

Bottled water’s important role:

  • According to the Institute of Medicine and the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, one-third of American adults are overweight and another one-third is obese.  And, over the last 30 years, children’s obesity rates have climbed from 5 percent to 17 percent.  Drinking zero-calorie beverages, such as water, instead of sugary drinks is regularly cited as a key component of a more healthful lifestyle.
  • Bottled water protects people and can even save lives.  After emergency situations or natural disasters (e.g., hurricanes, floods, tornados, earthquakes, wildfires, or boil alerts), bottled water is a necessary and reliable source of clean, safe drinking water.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) specifically recommends bottled water for those with weakened immune systems; so, for some people bottled water is not only a choice, it’s a necessity.

“Most people who drink bottled water also drink tap water, and the bottled water industry recognizes the importance of having a safe reliable municipal drinking supply,” says Chris Hogan, IBWA Vice President of Communications. “The bottled water industry supports a strong public water system, which is important for providing citizens with clean and safe drinking water.  Promoting greater consumption of water from all sources, including bottled water, will support the efforts of communities striving for a healthier lifestyle.”

Efforts to further increase the availability of clean, safe drinking water in cities, towns, on college campuses, in the work place, and at home should be encouraged.  Bottle refilling stations and water fountains throughout communities are an excellent opportunity to help promote healthy hydration.  Consumers’ access to bottled water is also a key component of leading a healthy lifestyle and therefore it should be available for purchase wherever packaged beverages are sold.

Getting to know your bottled water:

  • Read the label. Bottled water labels will tell you what type of bottled water you are drinking: spring, purified, artesian, mineral water bottlers, or sparkling.
  • Many bottled water companies make water quality reports available on their website, and virtually all bottled water products include a telephone number on the label that consumers can use to contact the company to obtain information about the product.
  • Bottled water is comprehensively regulated by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a packaged food product and it provides a consistently safe and reliable source of drinking water.  By federal law, the FDA regulations governing the safety and quality of bottled water must be at least as stringent as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations that govern tap water.  And, in some very important cases like lead, coliform bacteria, and E. coli, bottled water regulations are substantially more stringent.
  • Bottled water products - whether from groundwater or public water sources - are produced utilizing a multi-barrier approach, which may include one or more of the following: source protection, source monitoring, reverse osmosis, distillation, micro-filtration, carbon filtration, ozonation, ultraviolet (UV) light or other safe and effective methods. Many of the steps in a multi-barrier system may be effective in safeguarding bottled water from microbiological and other contamination.
  • All bottled water packaging is 100 percent recyclable.  According to the National Association for PET Container Resources (NAPCOR), PET plastic bottled water containers remain the most frequently recycled PET beverage container in curbside recycling programs.  The national recycling rate for PET plastic bottled water containers is 38.04 percent and the recycling rate for PET plastic bottled water containers has more than doubled between 2003 and 2012.
  • Additionally, data released by the Beverage Marketing Corporation (BMC) in 2013 shows that between 2000 and 2011, the average weight of a 16.9-ounce (half-liter) PET plastic bottled water container has declined 47.8 percent. This has resulted in a savings of 3.3 billion pounds of PET resin since 2000.

IBWA released a water use ratio study in 2013, showing that the amount of water used to produce bottled water products is less than all other bottled water types; on average, only 1.39 liters per liter of finished bottled water (including the liter of water consumed).

Many bottled water companies use public water sources for some of their products.  This source water is treated using the multi-barrier approach described above and bottled under sanitary conditions.  Nearly every U.S. consumer and industry relies on tap water, and every taxpayer and every industry must help ensure that supplies of water from municipal systems are safe and plentiful in the years ahead.

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Media Contact:
Chris Hogan
chogan@bottledwater.org
703.647.4609

The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) is the authoritative source of information about all types of bottled waters.  Founded in 1958, IBWA's membership includes U.S. and international water bottlers, distributors and suppliers.  IBWA is committed to working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which regulates bottled water as a packaged food product, and state governments to set stringent standards for safe, high quality bottled water products.

In addition to FDA and state regulations, the Association requires member water bottlers to adhere to the IBWA Bottled Water Code of Practice, which mandates additional standards and practices that in some cases are more stringent than federal and state regulations.  A key feature of the IBWA Bottled Water Code of Practice is an annual plant inspection by an independent, third party organization.  Consumers can contact IBWA at 1-800-WATER-11 or log onto IBWA's web site (www.bottledwater.org) for more information about bottled water and a list of members' brands.  Media inquiries can be directed to IBWA Vice President of Communications Chris Hogan at 703-647-4609 or chogan@bottledwater.org.