The Seduction of Plastic Water Bottles

plastic water bottles pollute

How do you get Americans to buy more than half a billion bottles of water every week when it already flows virtually free from the tap? Watch Annie Leonard present The Story of Bottled Water.

plastic water bottles polluteANNIE LEONARD and her “Story of Stuff” project is a mighty fine example of righteousness, as in “right use of”.

With clear, unassailable and compelling logic, she’s been tackling the worldwide problems created by manufacturing too much stuff.

Toxic, nonrenewable, planet-damaging, self-damaging, overly abundant stuff.

Take bottled water for example.

As they say in Cleveland, why in the Lord’s name would people pay 2,000 times more for bottled water than tap water?

Well, actually, I don’t know if they say that in Cleveland, but as Annie Leonard tells us in the video below, Cleveland did challenge FIJI Water’s assertion that the city’s tap water taste worse and was of lower quality than FIJI’s.

Bad move, FIJI. 

FIJI Shoots Itself

Turns out, Cleveland wasn’t too happy about being the brunt of what FIJI thought was a clever marketing campaign to:

– First, create fear in the minds of the public about a public resource, water; and

– Second, churn out clever BS about how pristine is the FIJI alternative, complete with sparkling pictures of pristine streams and waterfalls.

FIJI Water is not the only plastic water bottle purveyor to do the fear-the-tap-here’s-the-pristine-alternative marketing jig.  They all do.  Remember, something pretty darn convincing has to be drummed up to convince you pay 2,000 times more for something, no?

Cleveland fought back.

They tested their water and they tested FIJI’s water, and guess which was better, both from a taste and quality perspective?

Yeah, you guessed it.

Cleveland’s test of FIJI Water versus their own demonstrated that FIJI’s plastic water bottle quality was lower and tasted worse than Cleveland’s tap water.

No surprise there — in various tests around America, people consistently choose tap water over plastic bottled water!

What’s more, like most plastic bottled water, FIJI’s water is less regulated than city tap water.

Go figure.

The Manipulation of Manufactured Demand

This is crazy-making stuff.  Why do we let ourselves be so manipulated?

We spent 2,000 times more money for the privilege of buying an inferior product, the creation of which pollutes our environment and our bodies, all due to manufactured demand.

What’s “manufactured demand”?

I think of it this way:

Getting thirsty is an organic, natural demand for something to drink, say water; whereas demanding that the water comes from a plastic bottle because you’ve been indoctrinated that the water in it is more pure than tap water and therefore worth 2,000 times more money is manufactured, created-from-bullshit demand.

Turns out that in this case such manufactured demand is injurious to our selves and environment.  Consider this:

  • Those one-half billion plastic bottles made each week in the U.S. require a quantity oil and energy sufficient to fuel a million cars.
  • 80% of those millions of plastic water bottles gets dumped in landfills, where they blithely sit for thousands of years, or get incinerated, thus pumping toxins into the air we breathe.
  • The plastic in those plastic water bottles typically contain BPA (short for “Bispenol A), a potentially carcinogenic and estrogen producing chemical compound that increases your Chemical Body Burden.

Roller-skating Babies

The extent to which plastic water bottle manufactures will go to with their marketing hype would be laughable if it weren’t so effective.  So effective that we buy and drink one-half billion bottles of plastic water each week!

Yeah, those roller-skating Evian plastic bottle-drinking babies are sure persuasive! (Go here and watch the Evian commercial)

It’s true that there are cities with tap water that may not be up to par. (Here’ a list of cities with the best and worst tap water.) But if don’t trust your tap water, buy a filter and reusable bottle – don’t buy plastic bottled water.

Consider these BPA-free, reusable options, or these from

And now, at last, here’s Annie Leonard presenting The Story of Bottled Water:

If you liked what Annie Leonard had to say, go watch more of her videos at The Story of Stuff.

Last Updated on December 6, 2020 by Joe Garma

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Joe Garma

I help people live with more vitality and strength. I'm a big believer in sustainability, and am a bit nutty about optimizing my diet, supplements, hormones and exercise. To get exclusive Updates, tips and be on your way to a stronger, more youthful body, join my weekly Newsletter. You can also find me on LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.

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