Greenwashing With Bottled Water

נשלח 16 במרץ 2011, 13:40 על ידי Sustainability Org   [ עודכן 16 במרץ 2011, 13:43 ]

by brett, 2008

As marketers successfully propagate the message that it’s hip to be green, many people are fine with that as long as they don’t have to do much – or give up anything , like the instant convenience of bottled water. Bottled water, which the Economist calls “one of the great mysteries of modern capitalism,” gives us such instant gratification that we don’t even have to turn a faucet, take a second to fill up our glass or wash out our water bottle.

Marketers sell it to us with the wholesome image of pure Swiss meadow springwater, but it has repeatedly been shown that most bottled water is tap water. And a lot of tap water is safer than bottled water.

Bottled water is the instant titty, a refreshing polyethylene coconut with no tree to climb nor hard shell to crack. But the convenience comes at a price: it takes a lot of fossil fuel to make it, and it burns a ton of gas to ship it to us. And when we’re done with it, it becomes a giant plastic turd that we leave behind on the planet forever.

To assuage our growing feelings of guilt, marketers need a gimmick to keep the illusion. So, now they sell it in an “eco shape” that uses a little less plastic for a “better environment.” And we can feel good once again as we toss away the thick plastic wrapper (with pictures of pristine alpine lakes that some of the bottles will inevitably end up in.)


In developing countries like India, which have few landfills and no public recycling centers at all, bottled water has become a status symbol. It’s seen the same light as expensive champagne… as the drink of foreigners and movie stars. Upwardly mobile young Indians clamor to be seen swigging from a Bisleri bottle, just like a American who teen takes a proud, postured drag off his tenth Marlboro in public.

As a result, polyethylene bottles are conspicuously and permanently littering the lands in the developing world. Especially in the places visited by backpackers and tourists.

When you travel overseas, don’t leave you green values at home and believe the lazy myth that “it’s better to drink bottled water”. Investing in a lightweight high-tech purifier is infinitely more chic and impressive.

Regardless of what the companies would like us to believe, using up lots of plastic water bottles (when safe tap water or filters are readily available) is “eco” in no way, shape or form.