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The bottled-water bottlers must be feeling the heat. For newcomers to Feiler Faster, I’ve been on something of a tirade against the addiction many Americans have to bottled water. And it’s not just because Mrs. Feiler Faster is one of those addicts (though that’s certainly a factor). As someone who travels a lot in the Third World, I get the importance of bottled water. But why has it become such a fetish in high-end restaurants in this country? Actually, we know why, it’s very profitable, but the rest of us don’t have to play along. Recent articles in this country have reviewed the back-to-tap movement. Now the bottlers must be concerned. They’ve formed a lobbying group with the predictably lame acronym BWIO. This, from England:
The bottled water industry has hit back at claims that discarded plastic water bottles are contributing to global warming.
A statement was issued by the Bottled Water Information Office to say it is an environmentally friendly industry following the news that the City of New York is running a campaign to encourage people to ditch bottled water and drink tap water instead to protect the environment.
The BWIO said: “The very foundation of the industry is the protection of a precious natural resource and its use in a sustainable manner, and that ethos is applied in every aspect of the work of the industry.
“Bottled water is most commonly packaged in either plastic (PET) or glass, which is totally safe and conforms to strict regulations on health and safety. By far the majority of bottled water (93 per cent) comes in plastic bottles which is totally recyclable. Bottles also carry messages urging the purchaser to recycle after use. The rest (around 7 per cent) comes in glass bottles, which can also be placed for recycling.”
According to environmental groups, four out of five plastic water bottles end up on landfill sites and the production process contributes to global warming, but figures released by RECOUP show that 727 million plastic bottles were recycled in 2004.