The recession and an aggressive guilt-campaign by environmentalists is weakening the market for bottled water. For the first time in five years, bottled water sales have fallen on a year over year basis, the Washington Post reports.
According to consulting firm Beverage Marketing Corp., Americans drank 8.7 billion gallons of bottled water last year, compared with 8.8 billion in 2007 — the first decline this decade. Per capita consumption dropped from 29 gallons to 28.5. Jeff Cioletti, editor in chief of trade publication Beverage World, said he doesn’t believe bottled water will return to galloping growth for a long while.
Environmentalists are super stoked. Bottled water creates massive amounts of waste, since most people don’t recycle the bottles. Even if they did recycle the bottles, just the creation of all that plastic is bad news.
According to Food & Water Watch, more than 17 million barrels of oil — enough to fuel 1 million cars for a year– are needed to produce the plastic water bottles sold in the United States annually. And about 86 per cent of the empty bottles get thrown into the trash rather than recycled. Beverage companies have responded through recycling initiatives and purchasing carbon offsets.
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