Bottled Water Costs Thousands of Times More Than Tap Water
After a decline during the Great Recession, bottled water sales are back and bigger than ever—even eclipsing soda sales for the first time in 2016.
But people buying bottled water might not be aware that it’s nearly 2,000 times more expensive than tap water and four times more expensive than regular-grade gasoline.
In its latest report on the impacts of the bottled water industry on people and the environment, Take Back the Tap: The Big Business Hustle of Bottled Water, Food & Water Watch looks at the industry’s predatory marketing, the extraction of communities’ water resources, and the powerhouse lobbying that has helped bottled water corporations see sales soar since 2010.
Bottled water advertising targets people of color, women, mothers, children and lower-income groups.
Industry marketing strategies designed to promote the safety of bottled water to people who historically lack access to safe tap water (especially recent immigrants) prey upon those who may mistrust tap water and communities concerned about obesity and sugary beverages.
In 2014, Nestlé spent over $5 million advertising Pure Life — the most advertised U.S. bottled water brand — and three quarters ($3.8 million) went to Spanish-language television advertising.