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
Photo Credit: thinkstock