Last week my friend Keith over at The Unsuitablog sent me a press release about eco-friendly bottled water. Yes, you read that right, I wrote eco-friendly bottled water. Those of you who have read my articles here over the years know that I am a staunch proponent of exposing companies trying to greenwash themselves and their products. From the World Wildlife Fund to SC Johnson to a conference dedicated to sustainability called Sustainable Brands, I do my best to uncover greenwash attempts by major corporations and NGOs. Every time I do I am surprised by just how audacious their claims are and I think they couldn’t get any more ridiculous. Then I receive a press release like the one Keith sent me and I am shocked once again.
This time, the release was from a PR company doing the greenwash for the Italian sparkling mineral water brand Ferrarelle. In it, they first asked if “in the quest to become a leaner, greener, less meaner consumer, have you abandoned bottled water? Do you feel guilty every time you twist the top of a bottle that has traveled quite the distance to hydrate you?” and then goes on to say “Cast those doubts aside with Ferrarelle, Italy’s No.1 naturally sparkling mineral water and possibly the most eco-friendly water you have had the pleasure of sipping.”
This company, which traps spring water, injects it with CO2, packages it in plastic bottles, and then ships it around the world, calls its product “possibly the most eco-friendly water” ever. Nope, sorry – there is absolutely nothing eco-friendly about your water. Period. And shame on you for even trying to greenwash bottled water.
A few facts about bottled water:
- 88% of the used plastic bottles in this country are not recycled and take hundreds of years to even begin to break down. That’s 30 million plastic bottles a day thrown away (not recycled) in the US alone.
- Production of the plastic (PET or polyethylene) bottles to meet our demand for bottled water takes the equivalent of about 17.6 million barrels of oil (not including transportation costs).
- It can take nearly 7 times the amount of water in the bottle to actually make the bottle itself.
No company bottling water and selling it is green, eco-friendly, or good for the environment. They are just trying to greenwash bottled water to sell more of it. Stick to your filtered tap water and a reusable water bottle and avoid the bottled stuff like the plague.
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