Nestle Waters criticised in documentary on bottled water

Nestle Waters criticised in documentary on bottled water

Nestle Waters has defended itself over a documentary that has criticised the bottled water industry’s use of water, its recycling efforts and presence of the chemical Bisphenol-A in packaging.

The 30-city tour of "Tapped” by filmmaker Stephanie Soechtig, visited Greenwich in the US state of Connecticut on Friday (23 April).

The documentary criticised the bottled water industry in Greenwich, currently home to Nestle Waters North America, one of the companies critiqued in the film. It opens in Maine, where locals protested Nestle Waters was coming in to “mine” its groundwater.

The film also discussed Bisphenol-A, a chemical in polycarbonate plastic containers and showed toxicology tests on various bottled water brands for the substance, which were found to be positive.

Soechtig said the bottled water industry is "preying on the fact" that the nation's public water infrastructure is failing.

However, Nestle Waters chief executive Kim Jeffery, a Greenwich resident, was given the opportunity to defend his company and take questions after the film's screening.

He said that while the documentary raises some good points about important water-related issues, it stops short of recommending ways people can make an impact.

“Unfortunately, the producers of “Tapped” spent little time exploring how these solutions might be advanced. The film serves as a one-sided narrative which can be misleading to those unfamiliar with the issues and fails to account for bottled water’s important role in society,” Jeffery said.

“In fact, whether used as drinking water in times when public supplies are not potable or as a convenient and healthful alternative to sweetened/caloric beverages, bottled water continues to be an important and preferred choice for millions of consumers,” he added.

Jeffery said there were several examples of key points “Tapped” fails to address, including the regulation of bottled water by the Food and Drug Administration, the filtration differences between bottled and tap water, and that – BPA is not present in small size bottled water containers, typically 1.5 litre and smaller single-serve packages.

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