Monday, July 30, 2007

Stupid water

Apparently Aquafina has decided to admit that it is simply packaged tap water. I'd never noticed that the bottles were labeled PWS--Public Water Supply--and neither had many other people.

Thus continues one of the all-time ruses of consumer culture--bottled water. I've commented before on the absurdity of Deer Park's single-use "kid" bottles, but it's really the whole bottled water segment of the drink industry that blows my mind. And the fact that that segment represents $11B is even more mind-blowing.

Bottled water really seems like the snake oil of our contemporary culture. It may never have been marketed as directly better than tap water, but beverage companies have marketed the perception that water from a bottle is healthier. The reality, however, is that most tap water is not only safe, but better for you in some cases. Certainly, it is more economical and can be comfortably transported through faucets or refillable bottles.

What further disturbs me is the environmental impact. With the consumables come the trashables--tons of plastic bottles everywhere.