George Tenet Fangirl

Bottled water is not safer than tap water. It is tap water.

jill

one thing I forgot to say: in some parts of this country (yes, the usa) the water is truly terrible. I lived in carlsbad, new mexico (southeastern corner) for 5 weeks 5 years ago, and the water made me sick. I do have a sensitive stomach, but I drink tap water everywhere else.

what I did was to buy the huge cartons of bottled water that had a spigot, and I filled my nalgene bottle and religiously drank it.

so, in some parts of our country and the world- bottled water is crucial.

taxing the small single-serve bottles would be fine; but I think that taxing the larger ones (each was 4 gallons?) should not happen; at least in the desert where the water is horrible

Robin

Read your bottled water labels. Most of them contain water that came from a municipal supply anyway.

Roger

1) Tax any bottle water that doesn't come from within a 50 mile radius of its final destination. If you want a bottle of Fiji water you tax it for every mile that it had to travel from Fiji to its final destination say, NYC. So the tax on a bottle of water from FIJI is .0005 cents per mile or $3.94 on top of what you would have paid for the bottle which retails for $3.50. If you get a bottle of Poland Spring water that was bottle in Pittsburgh, you pay a 14 cent tax. Bottled water isn't a menace, its the distance that it travels which is so costly and environmentally unfriendly.

Most bottled soda is bottle locally and then shipped out to the surrounding areas, bottled water doesn't have that luxury when they melt it off of the mountains in sweden or from precious stream in Fiji.

Pete

Just government trying control one more thing they have no business being involved in.

D Martin

It would seem funny that a government would ask you to stop using a product manufactured privately and ask you to use the less scrutizined public water supply. I imagine that privately bottled water, no matter it's environmental costs, is still scrutinized further and is safer than public water. I'm not sure cities have the environment in mind. Sounds sketchy to me.

Chris

It's patently false that bottle water is better tested and safer than city water.

Andrew Ian Dodge

More idiotic enviro-fascist lunacy. It does seem to bother these dolts that things like the London congestion charge are expensive and useless.

Then again...these twits are making it far easier to be rebellious. Be a rebel...drink bottled water.

Bo

Why stop at bottled water? Why not ban all bottled beverages - since beverages are almost completely composed of water, isn't the environmental impact just as bad?

Alex W

@10

The market is clearly not finding a solution. The market is allowing this blatent extravagance to flourish. In fact, you're suggestion for the market to find the solution comes only after the Government has imposed a tax....whose solution is that then?

CJ

The government has no right to ban a product simply because it's popular with people who don't know enough about it.

However, the government DOES have the ability - and the duty - to levy taxes on products, according to many different variables. Smoking destroys the healthcare infrastructure by overloading it with preventable diseases. So they tax cigarettes. Heavily.

Tax the BOTTLE that the water comes in. That gives the manufacturer of the water an incentive to find a *different* material to store their product in. Make it $1 tax per bottle, and I guarantee that every one of those manufacturers will have a solution within a month.

I'll bet they come up with refillable bottles, and retool their water distribution method. Stick yer $5 refillable Evian bottle into the machine, and for $0.25 the machine fills it up...

Then Evian can turn around and talk about how wonderful their new "green" distribution system is, and how they are working to improve the environment, and blah-de-blah-blah-blah.

The market will find the solution. NOT the government.

Read more...

Jim

Many of the previous posters appear to have wide totalitarian streaks; yeah! for free markets, but only insofar as they don't conflict with your hobbyhorses, eh?

Joe

As someone who drinks water in preference to soft drinks, I find it very useful to have bottled water available. Sure, in my own office I can use a water cooler, but when I'm visiting somewhere, especially as a tourist, it's important for water to be as available to me as Coke(TM) is. Drinking fountains are vile, I don't want to carry a cup around, and the only other option is to buy drinks. Why should only pop and juice be on offer?

Devin

why not require them to make biodegradable bottles? I reuse the bottles all the time .

Joe

(I'm not defending insanity like water flown in from Fiji or something like that, just the convenience value of local bottled water.)

g p burdell

I'm drinking a bottle right now, in a meeting (yes, I'm on here instead of paying attention).

That said, I agree. Bottled water is now my sworn enemy.

@Bo - I agree, but I think the bottled water represented a significant quantum leap in bottled beverage production and consumption, but of course I have no data to prove that.

Alex W

The environmental impact is certainly just as bad. The socioeconomic impact is slightly less for other bottled beverages though. We don't all have taps in our homes that dispense Coke for pennies a gallon.

We already have a great distribution infrastructure for perfectly potable water in our area of the world. Bottling it and shipping is economically unsound practice.

Don't get me wrong, there are certain areas of the world where bottled water is a necessity. I can think of some nations that have terribly poluted tap water. And situations like the Katrina fiasco with rampant flooding. But to be drinking it every day, just because we can? That's wrong.

Matt

@CJ

A number of studies reported on this blog have shown that smokers place less of a burden on health services. It is thought that this is because they are less likely to live into old age.

While promoting good health may have been the motive in some cases, governments also tax cigarettes heavily because in general people view smoking negatively, and so taxes on cigarettes face less opposition than taxes on, for example, property or retail sales.

I also think supplying bottled water in a recyclable package is not the answer. The water still has to be transported from the bottling plant to the retailer (consider what this entails for "Fiji" water), and the bottles empty bottles have to be collected and recycled. This strikes me as much less energy efficient than using a local source and piping it around.

dreamboatcaptain

Remember when bottled water was just some stupid trend, and everyone laughed at it? I'd be interested in an economist's study of how long it takes for some dumb new fad to become mainstream, and why this succeeds or fails depending on the product.

Kumar

Is there any evidence that shows that the increase in bottled water consumption isn't balanced by a decrease in sugary soft drink consumption? Absent that it seems a bit premature to assume there's an impact on the environment more than the alternative.