The trade association for the bottled water industry in the US has come out fighting against a raft of attacks against the sector in recent weeks.

Late last week, the International Bottled Water Association said it is focusing on media outlets across the US to try to counter the "misguided and confusing criticism by activist groups and a handful of mayors who have presented misinformation and subjective criticism as facts", the association said.

On 3 August, the IBWA placed full-page advertisements in The New York Times and The San Francisco Chronicle, looking to calm some of the tension towards the industry intimated by the cities' authorities.

Last month, the Mayor of San Francisco banned the purchase of bottled water by city and county governments in an attempt to reduce the amount of bottles going to landfill and to curb global warming. In New York, an advertising campaign has been in effect, looking to discourage the purchase and consumption of bottled water on the same grounds.

"IBWA determined that the effectiveness of advertising would help cut through the clutter and provide a direct line to consumers with the facts and good news about bottled water," said IBWA president and CEO Joseph Doss. "The bottled water industry has a right and responsibility to help ensure that consumers are not swayed from making bottled water - a healthy, safe, and convenient product - their beverage of choice."

"Bottled water is all about beverage choice, available to consumers in all walks of life who choose, or rely upon, bottled water for refreshment and hydration. Any actions that discourage the use of this healthy beverage choice are not in the public interest. When it comes to bottled water or tap water, most people drink both, depending on the circumstances.

"If the debate is about the impact of plastic packaging on the environment, a narrow focus on bottled water spotlights only a small portion of the packaged beverage category and an even smaller sliver of the universe of packaged products. Any efforts to reduce the resources necessary to produce and distribute packaged goods-and increase recycling rates - must focus on ALL packaging. Any other approach misses a real opportunity to arrive at a comprehensive solution to protecting and sustaining the environment."