I wrote about FIJI water back in November 2008 (see my article “Greenwash Of The Week: Fiji Bottled Water“), but this long, in-depth article over at Mother Jones made my head spin. While my article focused mainly on the greenwashing aspect of FIJI water, this article talks about an even darker side of the company – one that involves dictatorships, typhoid outbreaks, offshore accounts, and how just 30 minutes from the bottling plant on Fiji, in a town called Rakiraki, the water “has been deemed unfit for human consumption.” Thirty minutes away from the plant that bottles the world’s most popular bottled water. How very, very sad for the residents. I urge you to click through and read the entire thing, but want to highlight a few items from the article first about the island of Fiji and FIJI water:
Half the country has at times relied on emergency water supplies, with rations as low as four gallons a week per family; dirty water has led to outbreaks of typhoid and parasitic infections. Patients have reportedly had to cart their own water to hospitals, and schoolchildren complain about their pipes spewing shells, leaves, and frogs.
Fiji is using a “forward crediting” model under which it takes credit now for carbon reductions that will actually happen over a few decades.
…Though Fiji Water may fill a void in the impoverished nation, it also reaps a priceless benefit: tax-free status, granted when the company was founded in 1995…(and) when Fiji has tried to wring a bit of extra revenue from the company, the response has been less than cooperative. Last year, when the government attempted to impose a new tax on water bottlers, Fiji Water called it “draconian” (a term it’s never used for the regime’s human rights violations) and temporarily shut down its plant in protest.
Please head over to Mother Jones and read “Fiji Water: Spin the Bottle” – it really will blow your mind. And if this still doesn’t convince you not to drink bottled water, check out 12 Reasons To Stop Drinking Bottled Water.
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