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Bottled Water's Right Up There With Low-Carb Craze

August 22, 2004

I'm perplexed by what Sierra Club water specialist Ruth Caplan says about bottled water ("An Idyll Interrupted," by Kenneth Miller, Aug. 1). She encourages members to avoid bottled water, but says that on a long plane trip, "you gotta hydrate." Caplan needs to start thinking outside the bottle. You don't need to waste money and add more trash to the landfill to stay hydrated. When my husband and I travel, we use recycled plastic water bottles, which we simply refill with San Diego's perfectly safe tap water. Bottled water is right up there with the low-carb craze. Don't fall for it, folks--what comes out of your tap is often as safe and tastes as good as what's in the bottle.

Callie Mack

San Diego


The lopsided article does serious injustice to the bottled water industry. It does not accurately portray an industry that has continually demonstrated its commitment to responsible use and management of resources, and that practices careful environmental stewardship.

To single out the bottled water industry--from among the hundreds of industrial water users--is just plain wrong. And of those users, bottled water producers, on a national scale, account for .019% of the total groundwater withdrawn in the United States each year. Typical bottled water companies utilize a highly efficient manufacturing process in which, on average, 87% of the groundwater withdrawn is bottled and used for human consumption.

What a shame that a few activists would discourage consumers from drinking bottled water. In an era in which our nation is wrestling with issues such as obesity, hypertension and other health challenges, it is imprudent for bottled water opponents to discourage people from choosing the consistent safety, quality and convenience of bottled water for hydration and refreshment. The bottled water industry is part of the solution, and it partners with other beverage producers, municipalities and recycling advocacy groups to encourage and build upon the curbside recycling infrastructure. The bottled water industry is also one of the original recyclers, as we collect, properly clean, sanitize and reuse larger water cooler bottles.

Stephen R. Kay

International Bottled Water Assn.

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