Tuesday, August 18, 2009

And yet again - Bottled Water


We have all read where bottled water is totally stupid - bad for the environment, wasteful of resources, stealing other countries' resources and maybe even condemning other people to going without water.
So how did a plastic water bottle, imported from a military dictatorship thousands of miles away (in fact 5,470 miles) become the epitome of
cool?
Myself I've never noticed a bottle of it. But apparently thousands, millions of people have. But even though its shipped from the opposite end of the world, and retails for nearly three times as much as your basic supermarket water, Fiji is now even outselling Evain. It has spent millions pushing not only the seemingly life-changing properties of the product itself, but also the company's green creditability and its charity work. And even as bottled water has come under attack as the embodiment of waste, Fiji seems immune.
But nowhere in Fiji's glossy marketing materials will you find reference to typhoid outbreaks that plague Fijians because of the island's faulty water supplies. And what about tax havens that the corporate entities have set up in the Cayman Island and Luxembourg. And then it is never mentioned that the signature bottle for this Fiji water is made from Chinese plastic in a diesel-fueled plant and hauled thousands of miles to its ecoconscious consumers. And of course they would never mention the military junta that it supports.
Getting to the Fiji Water factory requires a four-hour bone-jarring trek into the volcanic foothills of the Yaqara Valley. Not a tour listed on the Fiji tour guides. The last rest stop on the trip is a half hour from the bottling plant in a place called Rakiraki. The "My Lonely Planet" guide warns that Rakiraki water is unfit for human consumption and the dusty shops in the town square are stocked with bottle of Fiji water for 90 cents a pint. Rakirake has experienced the full range of Fiji's water problems -- crumbling pipes, a lack of adequate wells, dysfunctional or flooded water treatment plants and droughts that are expected to get worse with climate change. Half of this country has at times rely on emergency water supplies with rations as low as four gallons a week per family; dirty water has led to outbreaks of typhoid and parasitic infections.
And so I give you the link to the entire article:
which hopefully take you to it. So think about those bottled waters - I know you've been told many times how much better bottled water is - and yet is it? Just what is in that water in that bottle that is after all made from plastic.

1 comment:

broomstick wanderer said...

i never knew this! i don't generally buy bottled water unless i really needed it and when i do, i rely on poland spring. evian is too expensive. but usually, i just drink filtered water, which tastes just fine.