IBWA Response to Editorial in The New York Times

August 02, 2007

Bottled water is a safe, healthy, convenient beverage that consumers choose to stay refreshed and hydrated. The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) believes it is important for consumers to have the facts about the bottled water industry's outstanding record of environmental stewardship, safety and quality, and role as a bottled beverage of choice.

  • Any actions that discourage the use of this healthy beverage choice are not in the public interest.
  • The bottled water industry has an outstanding record and solid commitment to environmental stewardship and is a leader in the food and beverage industry in reducing its environmental footprint, while at the same time delivering the healthful value of bottled water to thirsty consumers.
  • If the debate is about the impact of plastic packaging on the environment, a narrow focus on bottled water spotlights only a small portion of the packaged beverage category and an even smaller sliver of the universe of packaged products
  • Despite their popularity, PET water bottles accounted for less than one-third of one percent of all waste produced in the United States in 2005.
  • Any efforts to reduce the resources necessary to produce and distribute packaged goods-and increase recycling rates--must focus on ALL packaging. Any other approach misses a real opportunity to arrive at a comprehensive solution to protecting and sustaining the environment.
  • Pitting bottled water against public drinking water confuses consumers who make bottled water their beverage-of-choice.
  • People recognize the importance of water consumption for hydration and refreshment and that should be encouraged-whether it is from bottled water or tap water. When faced with an array of bottled drink choices, consumers often choose bottled water because it does not contain calories, caffeine, sugar, artificial colors, or other ingredients they wish to avoid or moderate.
  • When it comes to bottled water or tap water, most people drink both, depending on the circumstances.
  • Bottled water is a healthy beverage produced by an industry that supports and relies on safe, quality ground water resources as well as municipal water systems and is are interested in strengthening, not undermining, municipal water sources.
  • Bottled water consumption has nothing to do with tap water infrastructure funding or drinking water system improvements. It is about beverage choice, available to consumers in all walks of life who choose, or rely upon, bottled water for refreshment and hydration.