Local authorities in Paris are fighting back against the growing trend to drink bottled water over the city's tap water.

News Agency AFP today reported that Paris city authorities have begun distributing thousands of glass carafes specially-designed by Pierre Cardin marked with the Eau de Paris logo and an Eiffel Tower.

The carafes fit into fridges and have push-on top so they can be filled with water from the tap.

A recent poll showed that 51% of Parisians now buy their drinking water in shops.

The city authorities and publicly-owned water company Eau de Paris are defending tap water by saying it is cheaper, more ecologically sound, and just as healthy.

"People buy bottled water because of the marketing, and we realised that if we were to win them back to the tap we would have to do some marketing of our own. It's all about giving Paris water an image and explaining why it is good for you," said Franck Madureira of Eau de Paris.