IBWA members increase bottled water deliveries, commitments in Flint, MI, amid drinking water crisis

Media Release
February 1, 2016

Alexandria, VA – The members of the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) continue to respond to the ongoing lead-contaminated water crisis in Flint, Michigan, affecting 100,000 families. IBWA member companies – including Absopure, Flint Culligan, Maumee Valley Bottlers, Nestle Waters North America (NWNA), and Niagara – have so far donated the equivalent of 1.5 million bottles of bottled water.

Bottlers are working with state, county, and municipal emergency management agencies and emergency relief partners like Convoy of Hope to provide bottled water to those in need. IBWA member companies are also coordinating donations through the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan, directly with the City of Flint, and partnering with local media outlets such as FOX 2 Detroit, and iHeartMedia Detroit.

In addition, a major effort was just announced by NWNA, Walmart, Coke, and Pepsi, to provide up to 6.5 million bottles of water for approximately 10,000 Flint public school students through the end of 2016. The companies also encourage the public to get involved by visiting www.good360.org to make donations that will go directly to local nonprofits serving the community.

“IBWA has also offered its assistance to Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and Flint Mayor Karen Weaver. Our continuing efforts are focused on helping provide Flint residents impacted by the lead-contaminated public water supply with reliable access to safe drinking water. Safe, clean drinking water is important to everyone’s survival, but when public water supplies are compromised, bottled water is a necessary, vital, and reliable source of clean, safe drinking water,” said Joe Doss, IBWA President and CEO.

“We applaud Michigan officials for their new recycling efforts in Flint in response to the use of bottled water and encourage all consumers to recycle. All bottled water containers, including the caps, are 100 percent recyclable and they should be recycled,” said Doss.

“The ongoing crisis in Flint, the emerging situation in Sebring, Ohio, and public water system problems in other U.S. cities, underscore the importance of having access to safe, drinkable water. The United States has the safest water supply in the world. And, the bottled water industry has long supported strong, reliable, public water systems. But, when clean tap water is unavailable, the bottled water industry has been, and will always be, there to ensure that people have access to safe, quality, water,” said Doss.

The bottled water industry has always been at the forefront of relief efforts during emergencies, natural disasters, and other catastrophic events. Throughout the years, bottled water companies have immediately responded to the need for clean water after disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, tornados, wildfires, and flooding.

It’s always important to remember that emergency preparedness guidelines issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recommend that all households maintain an emergency supply of water -- at least one gallon per person per day for three days -- for drinking, cooking, and personal hygiene. The DHS guidelines specifically recommend that consumers purchase commercially bottled water.

To learn more about bottled water, please visit IBWA’s website at www.bottledwater.org.

# # #

NOTE: Photos/head shots available upon request

Media Contact:
Jill Culora
jculora@bottledwater.org
703.647.4609

The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) is the authoritative source of information about all types of bottled waters, including spring, mineral, purified, artesian, and sparkling. Founded in 1958, IBWA's membership includes U.S. and international 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, to set comprehensive and stringent standards for safe, high-quality bottled water products.

In addition to FDA regulations, IBWA member bottlers must 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 a mandatory annual plant inspection by an independent, third-party organization.

IBWA is proud to help support Drink Up!, an initiative of former First Lady Michelle Obama and the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA), which encourages everyone to drink more water more often – whether from the tap, a filter, or in a bottle. Choosing water is always the healthy choice.

Consumers can contact IBWA at 1-800-WATER-11 or visit IBWA's website (www.bottledwater.org) for more information about bottled water. Media inquiries can be directed to IBWA Vice President of Communications Jill Culora at 703-647-4609 or jculora@bottledwater.org.