Coke and Pepsi are Scamming American Consumers

Water is now the most popular drink in the U.S.

Unfortunately, almost 40% of that water comes in a plastic bottle.

This is important to know, because whether you’re imbibing water or soda, the chances are that Coke and Pepsi are making a profit from your thirst. That’s because 50% of the bottled water market is owned by Coke and Pepsi.

How on earth did these corporations convince us to pay for something we already own?

From The Associated Press:

For more than two decades, soda was the No. 1 drink in the U.S. with consumption peaking in 1998 at 54 gallons a year, according industry tracker Beverage Digest. Americans drank just 42 gallons a year of water at the time.
But over the years, as soda increasingly came under fire for fueling the nation’s rising obesity rates, water quietly rose to knock it off the top spot.

Americans now drink an average of 44 gallons of soda a year, a 17 percent drop from the peak in 1998. Over the same time, the average amount of water people drink has increased 38 percent to about 58 gallons a year. Bottled water has led that growth, with consumption nearly doubling to 21 gallons a year.

That’s right: bottled water, not tap water. Coke and Pepsi must be laughing all the way to the bank: with soda sales declining, they launched aggressive marketing campaigns to convince consumers that bottled water was better for them. And it seems to be working.

Most of us like to think we know how to get a bargain. But when it comes to bottled water, Americans are conned every year to the tune of $15 billion (the amount spent on bottled water) and 21 billion gallons (the amount of bottled water consumed), paying twice for a commodity that’s already ours.

Australia Selling Sand To Saudi Arabia?

Remember the story that broke a few years ago about Australia selling sand to Saudi Arabia? The construction boom in the desert nations of the Middle East created a demand for raw materials, and some clever salespeople at GMA Garnet convinced people in Saudi Arabia to buy Australian sand. Supposedly their sand was especially hard and durable, unlike the sand in Saudi Arabia, making it preferable for their building projects.

Have the bottled water companies been taking lessons from GMA Garnet?

Even if you don’t mind that these companies are ripping us off, there are plenty more reasons not to drink bottled water:

* No healthier than tap water: In theory, bottled water in the U.S. is subject to regulation by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In practice, about 70 percent of bottled water never crosses state lines for sale, making it exempt from FDA oversight. On the other hand, municipal water falls under the purview of the Environmental Protection Agency, and is regularly inspected for bacteria and toxic chemicals.

* It’s fake: The Natural Resources Defense Council reveals that an estimated 25 percent or more of bottled water is really just tap water in a bottle — sometimes further treated, sometimes not.

* 80% of bottles end up in a landfill: Americans buy over 25 billion single-serving (1 liter or less) plastic water bottles each year. Almost eight out of ten end up in a landfill or incinerator. Hundreds of millions end up as litter on roads and beaches or in streams and other waterways. Taxpayers pay hundreds millions of dollars each year in disposal and litter cleanup costs.

* Oil consumption: Producing all those bottles requires  more than 1.5 billion barrels of oil every year – enough to fuel about 100,000 cars for the entire year.

Drinking water is great for your teeth, bones, and general good health, but why not put a cap on bottled water?

We don’t need to boost the profits of the likes of Coke and Pepsi.


Related Care2 Coverage

Bottled Water Industry Waging Insidious War On Tap Water

Water Industry Outlook: The ‘Time Is Ripe’ For Water Privatization

Go Ahead, Congress: Drink Local Tap Water


Photo Credit: thinkstock


Jim Ven
Jim Venabout a year ago

thanks for sharing.

John De Avalon
John De Avalon4 years ago

Why drink either?????????

Jack J.
Jack J.4 years ago

Never let the truth get in the way of a good story.

The company you mention (GMA Garnet) who you claim to have sold so called "sand" to the Saudis, is a major producer of industrial GARNET (not sand) for blast cleaning and water jet cutting. I'll let you and your fine readers conduct your own research as to the variances between common sand and garnet.

Bill K.
Bill K4 years ago

all you need is a good filter on your tap and a stainless steel water bottle.

Deborah Stewart
Deborah S4 years ago


It didn't take too long for the wannabes all over the world to start doing the same - spraying PURCHASED BOTTLED WATER on their oily, tanning, skin cancer bound bodies.

People have got to take responsibility for their own negligence eventually. You don't read the labels? Too bad. Don't accuse the companies of lying when they're not. Not ALL corporations are out to screw you.

And those were REAL planes that flew into the World Trade Center!!

Deborah Stewart
Deborah S4 years ago

I see we're still blaming the bottling companies for "tricking" people into buying water in bottles that are clearly marked to come from their city's treated water for its citizens. The HUGE bottling companies did not scam the people into believing that they needed to drink copious amounts of water everyday. The water consumption came first - THEN these companies seized the opportunity to improve their income. You would have too.

Old European stalwarts Perrier, Vichy and Evian had already been selling bottled spring water since the 19th century. Perrier was well known internationally first and then Evian followed. Vichy had been around for a while, but sold itself as a therapeutic water, rather than a refreshing one as Perrier and Evian did. There was good reason for that. It tastes terrible! My mother kept a bottle of Vichy water in the fridge for some reason that I can't recall. But I do recall having to drink some of that "stuff" when I had some kind of stomach problem. It's high in minerals and salts and that's what it tastes like. But I digress.

Coke and Pepsi did not start this bottled water craze. Doesn't anybody remember how scandalous it was when Hollywood types began spritzing Evian drinking water all over their body to help their tan along when they were lazing around the pool or playing volleyball on the beach? It worked even better than applying more tanning oil, they claimed. It didn't take too long for the wannabes all over the world t

Mari Garcia
Mari Garcia4 years ago

It's a shame that they are lying and can away with it.

Sharon Nevils
Sharon Nevils4 years ago

thanks for info

Arild Warud


Suheyla C.
Süheyla C4 years ago