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Annie Leonard of The Story of Stuff is mounting a campaign to stop water bottling companies from using national parks to market and sell their environmentally unfriendly bottled products. BoomerWarrior has supported The Story of Stuff in its many initiatives about how we consume products and accumulate too much stuff. (Editor ~ Rolly Montpellier)

Mountain of water bottles

By selling and promoting bottled water in our national parks, the bottled water industry is attempting to paint its eco-unfriendly product green. Coca-Cola and other bottled water corporations are using our parks as a billboard and concession stand for a product that is anything but environmentally friendly.

Did you know that 280 million people visit our national parks each summer? And that 40% of these visitors come from all corners of the world to experience these national treasures? Or that, while there, visitors consume 2.6 billion gallons of water…much of it from disposable plastic bottles?

Why? Coca-Cola and other beverage companies stopped a bottled water phase out several years ago. Now, if a park wants to go bottled water free, it has to conduct an expensive, time-consuming study to prove what we already know: banning the bottle reduces waste and is the right thing to do.

“That’s crazy!” says Annie Leonard. Join the campaign to make parks free of bottled water spearheaded by The Story of Stuff.

Just the Tip of the Iceberg

This campaign about bottled water in National Parks follows a 2010 video about the water bottling industry. The Story of Bottled Water video exposed startling facts and statistics about the pervasiveness of the world-wide distribution of plastic bottles.

The Story of Bottled Water, released on March 22, 2010 (World Water Day) employs the Story of Stuff style to tell the story of manufactured demand—how you get Americans to buy more than half a billion bottles of water every week when it already flows from the tap. Over five minutes, the film explores the bottled water industry’s attacks on tap water and its use of seductive, environmental-themed advertising to cover up the mountains of plastic waste it produces. The film concludes with a call to take back the tap, not only by making a personal commitment to avoid bottled water, but by supporting investments in clean, available tap water for all.

The Story of Bottled Water

Source: YouTube Standard Licence, Production by The Story of Stuff and Corporate Accountability International, Environmental Working Group, Food & Water Watch, Pacific Institute, and Polaris Institute.

What are the Facts?

  • The US buys over half a billion bottles weekly, enough to circle the globe 5 times. Americans buy more water bottles than any other nation on the planet.
  • By one estimate, approximately 50 billion bottles of water are consumed per annum in the U.S. and around 200 billion bottles globally.
  • Bottled water costs 1,000 times more than tap water. Drinking 2 Litres of tap water a day only costs 50 cents per year.
  • 1/3 of all bottled water in the US comes from the tap.
  • Making water bottles (in the US) takes enough oil and energy to fuel a million cars for one year – does not include packaging, distribution, marketing & transportation costs.
  • Imagine a water bottle filled a quarter of the way up with oil. That’s about how much oil was needed to produce the bottle.
  • 80 % of plastic bottles end up in landfills where they sit for thousands of years.
  • 380 billion MJ used in one year on bottle manufacturing. To put that into perspective, the average household uses about 42,864 MJ a year.
  • Plastic leaches toxins into the water, which have been linked to health problems such as reproductive issues and cancer.
  • Total US Water bottle sales annually – $15 billion.
  • Total Global Water Bottle sales annually – $50 billion.
  • Total cost of monthly water bills if tap water cost the same as the cheapest water bottle – $9,000.

Sources: The Story of Stuff, Wikipedia, Treehugger, Statistic Brain

Carrying and drinking bottled water is on its way to becoming as cool as smoking with children in your car or smoking while pregnant. The Bottle Industry is stepping up its marketing tactics based on fear, misinformation, deceit.

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