Update - US: Bottled water industry counters tap water campaign
75% of bottled water drinkers also drink tap water depending upon the circumstances
The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) has hit back at calls by American Water for US consumers to drink more tap water.
This morning (19 April), US utility company American Water launched a public education campaign designed to encourage the public to drink more tap water. 'America On Tap' urges consumers to be more aware of the "environmental and economic benefits" of drinking tap water, and suggests a "plastic bottle-free" day on 22 April.
However, the IBWA has told just-drinks that there is no sense in the utility company "going after such a marginal consumer of water simply because it's in a container".
"There is a time and a place for bottled water and it is not up to the utilities to decide that time and place," said IBWA's vice president of communication, Tom Lauria. "It is up to the consumer.
"90% of what we all drink comes from a bottle or a paper cup," he told just-drinks. "Over the years, there has never been an accusation or a report that bottled water has affected tap water consumption. It doesn't. 99.75% of tap water is used for other purposes besides hydration."
Lauria believes that one reason consumers choose bottled water over tap water is convenience.
"Busy people need to have hydration in a container, in their car, in many situations where it isn't convenient to take a container and fill it with tap water," he said. "Never is bottled water, tap water in a bottle. It goes through extensive purification, we have to remove chlorine, fluoride, and get it down to basic H20. Sometimes minerals are added to enhance the flavour."
He added: "You cannot look at tap water and say it is in any way natural. But there is room for both and we have looked at data that says 75% of bottled water drinkers also drink tap water depending upon the circumstances."
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