The bottled water industry has come out fighting against recent legislation in the US.

The Mayor of San Francisco, Gavin Newsom, earlier this week issued a directive banning the purchase of bottled water by San Francisco City and County governments. Meanwhile, the US Conference of Mayors has passed a resolution encouraging the compilation of information regarding the importance of municipal water and the alleged 'impact of bottled water on municipal waste'.

The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) in the US has warned, however, that the Mayor's order contains "a number of misinformed statements". Whilst saying it would work with the Mayor and the city to address the need for safe drinking water, the association warned that Newsom's comments "only encourage an unnecessary and confusing 'bottled water versus tap water' debate". The IBWA noted that the Mayor has ordered the use of 'bottle-less' water dispensers - also known as point-of-use filtration systems - in place of bottled water coolers, rather than drinking water straight from the tap.

Turning also to the Conference of Mayor's resolution, the association said: "Plastic beverage bottles are among the most recycled packaging in this country and beverage companies continue to reduce the amount of plastic used in their packaging. Rather than focusing on one beverage choice, it would make more sense for our government officials to focus on improving recycling rates for all consumer packaging."

The association noted that its members are focused on improving the environmental performance of beverage containers by working to reduce their environmental footprint, including the use of lighter-weight plastics for its containers and increasingly fuel efficient means of transporting product to market.