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2007 Bottled Water News

 

 

December, 2007

Food and beverage retailer alliance plans to sue Chicago over bottled-water tax; 5-cent per-bottle tax set to begin Jan. 1

As part of a campaign against Chicago's upcoming bottled-water tax, an alliance of food and beverage retailer associations plans to file a lawsuit challenging the tax when it goes into effect in the new year.  The American Beverage Association, the International Bottled Water Association, the Illinois Retail Merchants Association and the Illinois Food Retailers Association, have long argued against the tax, which will levy a 5-cent surcharge on every bottle of water bought in Chicago beginning Jan. 1.  Proponents of the tax, which was approved by the City Council this fall as the first of its kind in the nation, have argued that it will encourage water drinkers to forgo plastic water bottles and favor tap water, as well as bring in an estimated $10.5 million in tax revenues annually.  But bottled-water retailers and manufacturers say the tax is nothing but a thinly veiled money grab, which in the end will drive shoppers and vital business out of Chicago.  Chicago Tribune_12/26/07

Six water brands found unsafe in Egypt govt study
Egypt's Consumer Protection Agency found six locally produced brands of bottled water, including Schweppes, unfit for human consumption, agency chairman Said el-Alfy said on Wednesday.  Alfy said at a news conference that a study financed by his one-year-old agency and conducted over two months by the Central Egyptian Society for Consumer Protection and the Health Ministry took samples of 21 bottled water brands and discovered bacteria in six of them.  The study said the contaminated samples are the 1.5-litre bottles of Schweppes and el-Nada and the 19-litre bottles of Nahl, Aquastone, Aquamena and Hayat.  The study also found seven other brands were fraudulently labeled -- meaning the ingredients on labels did not match what was in the water -- but said they were still fit for consumption.  Those include the 1.5-litre bottles of Baraka, el-Manar, Delta, Hayat, Aquamena and Nahl and 19-litre bottles of Siwa.  The Ministry of Industry and Commerce said in a statement on Wednesday that it had formed an emergency committee to inspect the factories as soon as possible.  The Guardian_12/27/07

Miniature artist EJ Meissner begins bizarre bottled water art project

Artist EJ Meissner, creator of two of the World’s smallest violins, announces his latest project: frigginwater, an “Art As Product” line of bizarre bottled waters, each with strange storylines and corresponding artwork. The bottle “styles” will tackle current events and American culture, always with an odd and humorous bent. One new “style” will be released each month. The water is meant to be an inexpensive collectible with social commentary, but the water is safe to drink and is packaged by USDA-approved bottlers. News Release/PR.com_ 12/10/07

Canada's Mountain Equipment pulls water bottles off shelves
Mountain Equipment Co-op, Canada's largest specialty outdoor-goods retailer, says it has pulled most food and beverage containers made of polycarbonate plastic from its shelves, citing concern over possible health risks.  The Vancouver-based firm been one of the largest sellers of such products as polycarbonate Nalgene water bottles, and probably has done more than any retailer to make the distinctive, brightly coloured containers an iconic product everywhere from backcountry campsites to urban offices and university campuses.  The retailer didn't issue a public announcement that it removed the containers, but made a decision to take action Monday and instructed staff to cart polycarbonate products out of stores Wednesday.  The plastic in question is made mostly from bisphenol A, which mimics estrogen and is derived from petrochemicals.  It has been linked in dozens of independent research studies to illnesses that could be caused by hormone disruption. However, manufacturers of bisphenol A say their research shows the material to be harmless.  The Globe and Mail_12/7/07

Recall of Metromint water sold online
A small San Francisco company issued a voluntary recall Wednesday of its mint-flavored water because of possible contamination.  Soma Beverage Co. said it found an isolated case of Bacillus cereus contamination in a water sample bottled a year ago at a Southern California plant. Bacillus cereus contamination can cause food poisoning, with symptoms including nausea and diarrhea.  The Metromint water was sold in 16.9-ounce plastic bottles in peppermint, spearmint, orangemint and lemonmint flavors. The recall involves water with a "Best before 2006/12/21" date printed on the shoulder of the bottle and the lettering "KSA" in a rectangle located on the lower-right corner of the back panel of the label.  Scott Lowe, who co-founded the company with his wife in 2004, said the water in question was sold only online and would not be found in local stores.  SFgate.com_12/6/07

November, 2007

Toronto, Canada kills proposal to tax bottled water

A possible city tax on bottled water - even the study of a new levy - was killed off yesterday by Toronto Mayor David Miller and his cabinet-like executive committee. On a verbal vote, a majority of the 13-member committee accepted the advice of city staff that Toronto has no jurisdiction to impose such a tax. While the result was not unexpected, representatives of water bottlers, grocery chains and small retailers showed up to plead with councillors to abandon any talk of a five- or 10-cent levy on bottled water. But the debate triggered a call - likely to be debated at council next month - for the province to adopt a deposit-return system to curb the volume of water bottles recycled through the blue-box system. Globe and Mail_ 11/27/07

Mayor of Toronto, Canada says city should consider tax on bottled water

A month after Toronto adopted new vehicle-registration and land-transfer taxes, Mayor David Miller says the city should study taxing bottled water. In a letter that council's executive committee will tackle on Monday, the Mayor expresses his support for a request from Bill Saundercook, a Parkdale-High Park councillor who wants the city to explore adding an extra five cents to the cost of water bottled in Ontario, and 10 cents to the cost of water bottled outside the province. "I am prepared to support [the request] in terms of staff reviewing the issue and determining if measures are appropriate and legal and would recommend that the committee endorse the councillor's request," Mr. Miller wrote in a letter to executive members dated Nov. 13. City of Toronto budget chief Shelley Carroll warned yesterday that the city does not have the power to directly tax manufacturers, leaving the city to force individual store owners to collect the tax. So far, city staff have recommended against that option for taxing liquor and cigarettes, saying the tax would be too expensive and impractical to administer. "I anticipate that we're going to get roughly the same answer [on bottled water] that we got on the possibility of City of Toronto Act taxes on liquor and cigarettes," Ms. Carroll said. National Post_ 11/21/07

Chicago tax on bottled water faces legal challenges

Chicago's new and unprecedented 5-cent tax on each container of bottled water sold in the city appears destined for a legal fight. The Chicago City Council on Tuesday approved what is believed to be the nation's first special tax on bottled water. Effective Jan. 1, each container will be taxed a flat 5 cents; a six-pack of water bottles would carry an additional 30 cents, and so on. The measure was approved as part of a much larger package of tax-and-fee increases that is supposed to balance the 2008 city budget. Opponents are "strongly moving toward" filing a lawsuit and are considering several potential legal arguments, said Nicole Julal, staff attorney for the Illinois Retail Merchants Association, which joined other state and national commercial groups in lobbying against the bottled-water tax. She said it is unfair to tax bottled water and not other drinks, such as juice and soda, that also are sold in plastic containers. Gatehouse News Service/Peoria Journal Star_ 11/17/07

Bottled water's backlash

Bottled water, once an icon of a healthy lifestyle, has become a pariah, the environmentally incorrect humvee of beverages. In recent months, dissent over the once innocuous bottle of Aquafina or Dasani has grown from a trickle to a tsunami. Throughout the region, tap water is getting a boost from college events and eco-campaigns. At least one restaurant is about to banish bottled water, even as another celebrates it with 42 selections. Bottled water - a $10.9-billion-a-year industry in the United States - has even emerged as a moral issue, a peace issue. Taking advantage of the hoopla, American Water Works has launched an ad campaign to plug the value of public water systems nationwide, which require $300 billion just to maintain the pipes - 3,000 miles of them in Philadelphia. The bottled-water industry doesn't see the debate as either-or. Bottled is just often more convenient, said Joe Doss, president of the International Bottled Water Association. Its surveys indicate that 75 percent of people who drink bottled also drink tap. Still, momentum grows. Philadelphia Inquirer_ 11/4/07

Q & A: Spotlight on the green side of bottled water

Last summer, environmentalists took on the bottled water industry. On their Web sites and in their press releases, many environmental groups pointed to bottled water as a prime example of an unnecessary product that uses scarce resources and adds more plastic to overtaxed landfills. The industry’s growth did slow down. But most industry experts — and even some environmentalists — concede that the outcry was not the reason. Instead, it was a combination of higher prices, relatively cool weather and, perhaps most important, the maturity of the industry. “We weren’t even selling refreshment-size bottles of water until 1989,” said Kim E. Jeffery, chief executive of Nestlé Waters, which sells Poland Spring, Perrier and five other branded waters. “But the per-capita increase in bottled water use is growing, and will continue to grow." In a recent conversation, Mr. Jeffery maintained that bottled water would continue to sell briskly no matter how much criticism came its way. New York Times_ 11/3/07 (logon required)

Drinks firm enlists Jesus to sell bottled water

A drinks company is banking on some divine help in a new venture -- selling spiritual water in bottles featuring Jesus and carrying prayers -- despite warnings this promotion could backfire. Spiritual Brands Inc., a start-up company from Florida, is hoping to make a splash in the competitive bottled water market, worth over $11 billion a year in the United States alone, with its new Spiritual Water. Elicko Taieb, company founder and chief executive, said the company chose Christianity first, since it is so prevalent in the United States, but has plans to expand. "We are working on covering everyone, from Muslims to Jews to Buddhists," said Taieb, who said his family practices Judaism and Catholicism. He said he's not worried about turning people off with the holy images, though John Sicher, publisher of industry newsletter Beverage Digest, said it could happen. "Provocative marketing is fine, but this may well raise an issue of respect or a lack thereof," Sicher said in an email. Reuters_ 11/2/07

October, 2007

Arrowhead Mountain Spring Water donates 115,000 to California rescue workers and evacuees

Arrowhead Mountain Spring Water has donated 115,000 bottles of water to rescue workers who are currently fighting the Southern California wildfires, as well as to evacuees who are being housed at temporary shelters at Qualcomm Stadium and others throughout the region. Through its longstanding relationship with the American Red Cross, Arrowhead has provided 36,000 bottles of water to various Red Cross shelters. Additionally, Arrowhead has donated 36,000 bottles of water to Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego in coordination with stadium staff for people being temporarily housed there and another 36,000 bottles of water to the Forestry Service fire fighters in Lake Arrowhead and surrounding communities in the San Bernardino Mountains. Other requests for bottled water from local fire departments, police departments, hospitals and others involved in relief efforts are being fulfilled either directly through Arrowhead, its retail partners or the military. In the last two days, Arrowhead has donated thousands of cases of bottled water to first responders fighting fires in San Diego, the San Bernardino Mountains, the San Fernando Valley and Orange County. News Release/PRNewswire/Corporate Social Responsibility wire_ 10/24/07

International Bottled Water Assn. announces 2007-2008 officers, board members and executive committee

Chris Saxman was elected chairman of the IBWA Board of Directors for the upcoming 2007 - 2008 term. Saxman represents IBWA member Shenandoah Valley Water Company based in Staunton, VA. He is a member of the Executive Committee and Board of Directors and served as IBWA Treasurer in 2006 and Vice Chairman in 2007. IBWA also elected, for the first time, the following IBWA members to the Board of Directors for a three-year term: Philippe Caradec (Great Brands of Europe, Inc.), Marty Conte (Diamond Springs, Inc.), Doug Hidding (Blackhawk Molding Co.), and Lynn Wachtmann (Maumee Valley Bottlers, Inc.) Full list of IBWA officers and board members. News Release_ 10/18/07

Louisville, Colorado tap water to be bottled by Eldorado Artesian Springs Inc.

By gaining access to millions of gallons of Louisville's tap water, Eldorado Artesian Springs Inc. says it is in a position to expand its bottling operation and grow significantly. The company, which for nearly 25 years has been selling spring water drawn from artesian wells at the base of Eldorado Canyon, entered into a water-use agreement with the city Tuesday that allows it to bottle and sell up to 75 acre-feet of municipal water a year over the next five years. An acre-foot of water is 326,000 gallons. "It will all be clearly labeled," said Kevin Sipple, Eldorado's vice president of operations, who was quick to point out that the company is not tinkering with its marquee Eldorado Natural Spring Water line. "(The spring water) is still going to be available." The company will treat the municipal water with reverse osmosis filtration to strip it of chlorine, fluoride and 99 percent of all minerals. Sipple said there won't be much filtering needed because Louisville's water, which comes from the portion of South Boulder Creek that runs through Eldorado Canyon, is already so pure. Boulder Daily Camera_ 10/17/07

New California law requires water bottlers to list source
WaterWebster staff

learn how your organization can republish this story at no cost

updated Oct.15, 2007/originally published Oct. 14, 2007

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger Saturday signed legislation requiring water bottlers to list the source of the water on the label. “Since so many Californians today rely on bottled water as a primary source for their drinking water," said state Sen. Ellen Corbett, author of the legislation, "the time has come for the bottled water industry to provide the same information that our municipal sources have been providing for the last 20 years."

Corporate Accountability International launches Think Outside the Bottle; Thousands take the pledge: News release

A broad range of national and local organizations, cities, celebrities, student groups and communities of faith launched the Think Outside Bottle Pledge today calling on people to choose public tap over bottled water. The Pledge supports the efforts of local officials to invest and build confidence in public water systems. Momentum has been growing over the last year for cities and consumers to reevaluate corporate control of water sources, including city water systems. What’s more, up to 40 percent of bottled water comes from the same source as tap water, which is highly regulated for its safety to consumers. Bottled water also takes a toll on the environment, and city budgets. Last year, at least four billion pounds of plastic bottles ended up in city waste streams. It can cost cities more than $70 million in dumping and incineration fees alone. Furthermore, making bottles to meet Americans’ demand for bottled water required the equivalent of more than 17 million barrels of oil last year and generated more than 2.5 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions. News Release_ 10/10/07

International Bottled Water Assn. charges Corporate Accountability International's campaign confuses consumers and provides misinformation about bottled water
Corporate Accountability International (CAI) today is holding events in a number of cities across the United States in an attempt to sway consumers and government organizations from choosing bottled water as their beverage-of-choice. The CAI campaign is based on factual errors and subjective viewpoints on bottled water and does nothing more than confuse and misinform consumers. Bottled water is comprehensively regulated as a packaged food product by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and state regulatory agencies. Rather than focusing on one beverage choice, it would make more sense for consumers and government officials to focus on improving curbside recycling rates for all consumer packaging. The CAI campaign only encourages an unnecessary and confusing “bottled water versus tap water” debate. News Release_ 10/10/07

India's 'water of the Gods' flows West

Spring water from the Himalayas, home of the world’s highest peak, could soon be a fixture on dining tables from London to Tokyo as India’s biggest bottled water company eyes the $85 billion (£41.6 billion) global market. Ramesh Chauhan, chairman of Bisleri, will visit Europe this month to talk to international distributors about exporting his premium product, sourced from an underground artesian well in Rudrapur in the northern state of Uttarakhand. He is confident that Western consumers will lap up “God’s own water” as Indian companies build water brands to compete with established tonics from rival mountain ranges. With the Indian water market growing at 40 per cent a year, Bisleri has attracted takeover interest from Coca-Cola, Nestlé, owner of Perrier, Danone, which owns Evian, the world’s bestselling water, and Fraser and Neave, the Singapore-listed consumer goods group whose brands include Tiger Beer. Water is proving to be big business in India, where the seasonal monsoon sees half the annual rainfall in just 15 days. Storage and distribution is difficult, with even some urban middle-class areas reliant on tanker water of debatable quality. The poor, buckets in hand, have to wait in line for a communal tap. About 10 per cent of rural India has no access to safe drinking water. The World Bank estimates that 21 per of communicable diseases are related to unsafe water. Diarrhoea alone causes more than 1,600 deaths daily. TimesOnLine_ 10/6/07

Korean companies launch bottled deep sea water

The first bottled deep sea water made its debut in Korea on Thursday, with the launch of CJ's Ulleung Mine-water.  The drinking water is processed from sea water that is pumped from a depth of 650 m below the surface of the East Sea off Ulleung Island, which is 130 km from the mainland.  Producers claim deep sea water is clean and free of bacteria and other living things since it comes from depths beyond the reach of sunlight.  The launch of Ulleung Mine-water is expected to be just the first salvo in a battle to sell bottled deep sea water. Lotte Chilsung Beverage Co. plans to begin selling deep sea water next month, and Watervis, another deep sea water extractor, is expected to launch its own brand soon.  CJ expects sales of Ulleung Mine-water to reach US $3.8 Million next year and climb to $10 Million by 2010.  Chosun.com_10/5/07

Manly, Australia council calls on residents to ditch bottled water in favor of tap

Manly mayor Peter Macdonald is calling on all other councils to urge residents to ditch bottles in favour of tap water too. Manly Council will put forward a motion opposing bottled water at the Local Government Association's October annual conference in Coffs Harbour. Coca-Cola Amatil, producer of Mount Franklin water, hit back. "NSW (New South Wales) councils are the only local governments in Australia [outside the Northern Territory] which have chosen not to participate in the National Packaging Covenant - an agreement signed by all Australian governments, Federal, state and local, as well as 470 businesses, which is working towards a national solution to achieving 65 per cent recycling rates, and other environmental outcomes, by 2010," said Coca-Cola Amatil's spokeswoman, Sally Loane. But a spokesman for the Local Government Association said industry should take more responsibility for the waste they created. The NSW Government should follow South Australia's lead and introduce a cash-back system for used bottles, the spokesman said. Sydney Morning Herald_ 10/3/07

Bottled water from the Amazon rainforest

Is there room on the market for yet another high-priced water in a designer bottle? How about one whose source is in a pristine but ecologically threatened environment? Florida businessman Jeff Moats believes so. Early next year, if a factory and production line are completed on time, his $12 million privately financed startup plans to start selling a superpremium brand of water called Equa in upscale restaurants and trendy food stores like Whole Foods Markets. While environmentalists might be concerned, the allure to consumers, Moats believes, will be Equa's purity and minimalist bottles shaped like rain droplets. His source? Brazil's Amazon rainforest, which Moats calls "probably the last place on Earth that holds boundless mystery and mystique." BusinessWeek_ 10/1/07

September, 2007

Source of bottled water to be clear under proposed California law

Most companies that sell H2O hate the idea, but the California Legislature wants to make it easier for people to find out what minerals, chemicals or bacteria are in the water they buy and whether its provenance is a well, artesian aquifer, spring -- mountain or otherwise -- or municipal reservoir. "People pay a premium for bottled and vended water because they believe it is healthier," said state Sen. Ellen Corbett (D-San Leandro), author of a bill that is on Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's desk. "But in many cases, it is the same water that is coming out of the tap." The bill would impose labeling and reporting mandates on purveyors of bottled water and operators of commercial water-purification machines. The companies essentially would be required to do what the state compels water agencies to do: make details about their products' contents and sources readily available. The water districts do this with posts on their websites and inserts in water bills; bottlers would have to include contact and source information on their labels. Right now, they don't have to. Bottled water is regulated as a food product by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, unlike public water systems, which fall under state regulation. The federal government doesn't demand the level of disclosure that the bill in Sacramento would. Schwarzenegger hasn't taken a public position on the bill and has until Oct. 14 to make up his mind on whether he will sign it. Los Angeles Times_ 9/28/07 (logon required)

Deep-sea water market forecasts billions by 2010

Korean government agencies and audacious entrepreneurs are looking to the East Sea to pump up unspoiled sea water stored hundreds of meters below the surface and to sell it as bottled water.  Several firms have engaged in the deep-sea water business, laying pipes as deep as 1,100 meters on the eastern shore or importing bottled water from countries like Japan and the United States, where the industry is already profitable.  According to Yoo Seung-hoon, professor of Hoseo University, the market for deep sea water products such as bottled water, sports drinks, edible salts and cosmetics is expected to amount to 570 billion won by 2010 and will create more than 9,000 jobs.  Additionally, a legal system has almost been completed to help firms commercialize the seawater products. The National Assembly passed the law on developing deep-sea water in July, which will take effect in February 2008.  At a depth below 200 meters, the water is very cold and is safe from surface pollutants caused by industry, farming, chemicals or human waste. The deep-sea water contains minerals such as magnesium, calcium and potassium more so than ordinary bottled fresh waters, while containing less bacteria and other organic materials thanks to the inhospitable environment.  The law will define deep-sea water as water pumped from 200 meters or deeper. Although it is currently priced at around double that of ordinary bottled water in some countries, it has enjoyed growing popularity in some developed nations such as Japan and the United States, as people are starting to care more about the quality of water they drink.  The Korea Times_9/28/07

Code group: University of Central Florida didn't adhere to drinking water rules

The University of Central Florida did not meet state building codes by selling water at its new football stadium instead of providing fountains or water coolers, according to a group that developed the codes. When the stadium was designed, the building codes called for either drinking fountains or "bottled water coolers." But the sole source of water for fans attending last Saturday's inaugural game was from vendors. "Selling bottled water out of a concession stand is not what the code meant," said Gregg Gress of the International Code Council in Washington, D.C. "Charging money for water is not the equivalent of a drinking fountain." School officials stood by their reading of the code. "I am confident that my interpretation of the code is correct," John Jackson, building-code administrator with UCF, wrote in an e-mail response to questions. "Nonetheless, I believe that the issue is behind us now that UCF is installing 50 water fountains in the stadium." School officials scrambled to retrofit the stadium this week after vendors ran out of bottled water during last Saturday's game, which then highlighted the absence of drinking fountains. But several officials who are closely involved with building codes told the Orlando Sentinel that bottled-water coolers referred to refrigerated units fed by large plastic jugs, commonly found in offices. The code, they said, was not meant to include refrigerators containing individual bottles of water for sale, such as those that vendors used at the stadium last Saturday. Orlando Sentinel_ 9/22/07

Expert environmental issues panel and an "assertive media tactics" session added to International Bottled Water Association 207 convention

To help ensure that members of the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) and attendees at the 2007 IBWA Annual Convention and Tabletop Trade Show the have the latest information on environmental issues, IBWA has added an Environmental Issues Panel to the convention IBWA General Session. IBWA has also added an educational session to give attendees a clear sense of the media landscape and tactics that may be used to cut through the clutter and deliver positive bottled water messages. Presentations will include use and role of PET plastic containers for bottled water and the beverage/food industry, a U.S. recycling overview, suggestions for sustainable source-water-management and tips for dealing with the news media. The convention is Oct. 15-19, 2007 in Las Vegas, Nevada. News Release_ 9/19/07

Emmy gift bags to contain real 'bottled' water

This years Emmy award attendees will be getting a little taste of Indiana. Located among the other expensive and fabulous items in the official Emmy gift bags will be Walnut Springs Water. Walnut Springs, located near the small Greene County town of Bloomfield, was opened in 2005 by M. Duane Smith and Leslie K. Smith. The bottles are real glass and have a flip top metal cap. Associated Content_ 9/16/07

Texas man sues singer Willie Nelson, distributing company over bottled water contract

A business owner has sued musician Willie Nelson as well as an Arkansas company about the right to sell bottled water with Nelson's name on it. Pat Fahey, owner of the Drippin' Spring Water Co., said Simpson Distributing Co. broke a contract he had with it for the exclusive right to sell bottles of Willie Nelson Spring Water within a 50-mile radius of Austin from October 2006 to October 2007, according to the lawsuit. Nelson's lawyer, Hal Sanders, said Nelson had an oral agreement with Simpson, and not with Fahey, to use his likeness on the water. "It did not allow them to sublicense to other people, including Drippin' Spring," Sanders said. According to the lawsuit, Simpson Distributing broke Fahey's contract by selling and delivering 13,824 bottles of the water to a woman in Marble Falls, which was within the 50-mile radius of Austin, refusing to sell water to Fahey to fulfill a prospective water sale to H-E-B grocery and failing to meet its delivery schedule. American-Statesman_ 9/15/07

Crystal Geyser loses  bid to pump mineral water from Napa, California aquifer

Saying they are concerned about global warming and millions of plastic water bottles, Napa City Councilmembers won’t let Crystal Geyser tap into a city aquifer for mineral water. Crystal Geyser’s well application was rejected on a 3-2 vote Tuesday, with Councilman Mark van Gorder saying that bottled water companies were contributing to global warming by putting their product in billions of plastic containers. Plastic water bottles have become a lightning rod for criticism by environmentalists who want consumers to reduce use of goods whose production creates greenhouse gases. Napa Mayor Jill Techel based her opposition on her desire to protect Napa’s underground water supply. “We shouldn’t be mining it and shipping it out of our jurisdiction,” she said. Crystal Geyser, based in Calistoga, produced multiple reports from hydrologists who said extracting 100 acre feet annually would have no impact on the area’s underground supply. One hundred acre feet is about the quantity consumed by 300 homes in a year. Napa Valley Register_ 9/12/07

UK water treatment operator invents bottle that makes dirty water drinkable

The way fresh water is supplied to disaster-hit regions could be revolutionised after an Ipswich-based businessman invented a £190 bottle that makes foul-smelling water drinkable in seconds. Michael Pritchard hopes that the bottle could be a life-saver for refugees in disaster regions where access to clean drinking water is vital. However, the military are already latching on to his idea. Four hours after Mr Pritchard launched his new "Life Saver" bottle at the DESI defence show in London yesterday, he sold out his entire 1,000 stock. "I am bowled over," he said. Military chiefs are excited because the bottles, which can distill either 4,000 litres or 6,000 litres without changing the filter, will have huge benefits for soldiers who hate drinking iodine-flavoured water. In July a protype of the bottle was voted "Best Technological Development" at the Soldier Technology conference. Mr Pritchard's bottle can clean up any water - including faecal matter - using a filter that cuts out anything longer than 15 nanometres, which means that viruses can be filtered out without the use of chemicals. Telegraph_ 9/12/07

Nestle eyes bottled water buys in China: CEO

Nestle, the world's largest food group, is looking to extend its bottled water acquisitions to China and elsewhere as it aims for rapid growth, Carlo Donati, CEO of Nestle Waters, said on Tuesday. "Our strategy of mergers and acquisitions in future is to integrate our local activities in certain markets or to expand our geographic presence as, for instance, is the case in China, where we have a small base and are looking out for acquisitions," Donati said. Donati said Nestle did not aim for major acquisitions in water. Earlier on Tuesday, the company unveiled plans to buy Swiss bottler Henniez in a deal valued at 155 million Swiss francs ($128.3 million). Reuters_ 9/4/07

Nestle to take over Swiss bottled water firm Henniez

Nestle accelerated its expansion in the bottled water business on Tuesday by agreeing to buy Swiss bottler Henniez in a deal valued at 155 million Swiss francs ($128.3 million). Through the purchase, Nestle will triple sales in its home Switzerland, control a quarter of the local water market and add a respected brand name to the group's stable of products. Bottled water comprises around 10 percent of the group's total revenue and is one of its key growth pillars as consumer trends favor natural, unsweetened drinks. Nestle, the world's largest food company. Reuters_ 9/4/07

August, 2007

Global market leading corporations Nestle, Danone, Coca-Cola and Pepsi to participate in Mexico City bottled water congress

The 4th Global Bottled Water Congress will be held from 12th to 14th September in Mexico City. The conference theme Sustainable Growth will bring together speakers from major producers, regional leaders and ground breaking innovators. Nestlé will be giving the Keynote Address, Danone will be providing two speakers from Mexico and Argentina, Coca-Cola will be hosting a bottling plant tour and a Pepsi bottler from Pakistan will also be speaking. The social highlight of the Congress will be a gala dinner for the presentation of the bottledwaterworld awards on 13th September at the Gran Hotel Ciudad de Mexico in the city’s main square, Plaza de la Constitución. The Global Bottled Water Congress is organised by industry experts Zenith International in association with industry journal bottledwaterworld. News Release/BevNet_ 8/28/07

International Bottled Water Assn. tips for safe drinking water in emergencies

The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) today participated in the launch of National Preparedness Month by providing consumers with tips for bottled water and drinking water supplies for emergency situations. In response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the bottled water industry provided millions of servings of bottled water to survivors and rescue personnel. As a result of this event, IBWA developed the online IBWA Emergency Response Directory (ERD), which contains a list of organizations and government agencies responsible for emergency and disaster response activities. IBWA members and other interested parties can successfully navigate the proper channels and help provide bottled water and other resources to those in need by downloading the ERD at http://www.bottledwater.org/public/downloads/erd.pdf. IBWA is a coalition member of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) fourth annual National Preparedness Month. This national recognition, which is held each September, encourages Americans to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses and communities. News Release_ 8/27/07

Tata Tea eyes broader range of water products
India's Tata Tea Ltd plans to use a newly acquired mineral water brand to launch premium and mass-market packaged products for health-conscious consumers, a senior company official said on Thursday.  Tata Tea, the world's second-biggest branded tea firm, has taken management control of Mount Everest Mineral Water Ltd after it bought nearly 26 percent of the company in June. It plans to make an open offer for a further 20 percent. Tata Tea will use the "wellness" plank to sell Himalayan mineral water and other water products, Pradeep Poddar, managing director of Mount Everest Mineral Water, told Reuters by telephone.
Last year, Tata Tea bought 30 percent of U.S. vitamin water maker Energy Brands Inc. It sold the stake to Coca-Cola Co in May for $1.2 billion, nearly twice what it paid, but said it was still keen to increase its presence in non-tea beverages, including through acquisitions.  Local media have reported Tata Tea was interested in U.S.-based AriZona Beverages as well as Cadbury Schweppes Plc's North American beverages unit.  Tata Tea, which owns the Tetley brand, has bought herbal and fruit tea brands in the United States and eastern Europe, and has a green tea venture in China. It also plans a venture in Russia.  Reuters_8/23/07

BORBA and Anheuser-Busch announce marketing and distribution deal

BORBA and Anheuser-Busch today announced they have reached an agreement that gives Anheuser-Busch responsibility for distribution and marketing of BORBA Skin Balance Waters in the United States and in countries around the world. As part of the agreement, BORBA maintains the right to sell its beverages and crystallines in select accounts and online. Anheuser-Busch wholesalers will begin distributing the beverages in select markets in November 2007. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The BORBA line currently is available at high-end retailers, such as Sephora, Ulta, and Equinox Gyms. Based in St. Louis, Anheuser-Busch is the leading American brewer, holding a 48.4 percent share of U.S. beer sales. Anheuser-Busch also owns a 50 percent share in Grupo Modelo, Mexico's leading brewer, and a 27 percent share in China brewer Tsingtao, whose namesake beer brand is the country's best-selling premium beer. Based in Woodland Hills, Calif., BORBA is backed by strategic investor Brad Greenspan, an Internet entrepreneur and founder of MySpace.com, who serves as non-executive Chairman of BORBA. Liberty Media Corporation, parent company of QVC, also maintains a strategic investment in BORBA. PRNewswire-First Call_ 8/20/07

Chicago Mayor Daley on bottled water tax: 'It's a good idea'

Daley all but endorsed a proposal by one of his staunchest City Council supporters to slap a tax of anywhere from 10 to 25 cents on the cost of every bottle of water sold in Chicago. “Money-wise, it’s a good idea. Environmental-wise, it’s a good idea, too….There’s so much plastic in our lives. It’s amazing. Every time you look, there’s plastic all over,” Daley said Tuesday. The Chicago Sun-Times reported earlier this week that Alderman George Cardenas (12th) wanted to tax bottled water to reduce landfill costs, encourage consumers to drink tap water and close a $217.7 million budget gap. The International Bottled Water Association responded by saying the first-in-the-nation tax unfairly singles out the bottled water industry for a much larger environmental problem caused by packaging of all kinds. Sun-Times_ 8/14/07

Banning bottled water: Is Cook County, Illinois next?

County Board Commissioner Mike Quigley, chairman of the board's Environmental Control Committee, said he is in the preliminary stages of preparing an ordinance that would prohibit the use of county funds to purchase bottled water. He said he plans to propose the bill after Labor Day. Quigley called bottled water "one of the great American failures" because we are paying—financially and environmentally—for a product already available virtually for free at our fingertips. San Francisco and L.A. have banned city-financed purchases of bottled water. New York has launched an ad campaign called "Get Your Fill" that sings the praises of tap water and gives residents a free stainless steel beverage container if they sign an online pledge not to buy plastic water bottles. Salt Lake City's mayor has encouraged residents to drink from the tap. Ann Arbor has nixed bottled water at city events. And in June, the U.S. Conference of Mayors adopted a resolution—sponsored by the mayors of San Francisco, L.A. and Minneapolis—that calls for compiling information on the importance of municipal water and the contribution of bottled water to municipal waste. Whether Chicago will go that route remains to be seen. There are no city policies in place or on the agenda to curb bottled water usage, said Sadhu Johnston, commissioner of Chicago's Department of the Environment. Meanwhile, the International Bottled Water Association, an Alexandria, Va.-based industry group, has struck back against criticism. Last week, it ran full-page ads in the New York Times and San Francisco Chronicle defending bottled water and highlighting the industry's environmental stewardship. Joe Doss, the association's president and CEO, told RedEye that bottled water is not meant to compete with tap water but rather to provide a healthy alternative to people who want to grab a drink at the store. The industry promotes recycling and has reduced the amount of plastic in its packaging by 40 percent during the past five years, he said. Chicago Tribune Red Eye_ 8/11/07

Despite New York Mayor Bloomberg's push to use city water, agencies to pay $3 million for bottled

As Mayor Bloomberg spouts on about the beauty of tap water, many city workers will be drinking the bottled variety - $3 million worth over three years, the Daily News has learned. Bloomberg plans to shell out the big bucks as part of a city contract with Nestle Waters North America, distributor of Poland Spring and Deer Park, records show. The $3 million is for water delivery and cooler rentals between this year and 2010. And that doesn't even count the $110,000 city officials already spent this year on 630,000 single-serving bottles of Poland Spring, according to the Department of Citywide Administrative Services. Health officials defended the city's tab for bottled water, claiming it's necessary during emergencies, and at some city offices with rusty pipes, warm tap water or broken water fountains. But environmentalists argue it's easy to overuse the plastic thirst quenchers. Daily News_ 8/6/07

Bottled water industry fights back, launches ad campaign to rebut bottled water bans

"The bottled water industry has recently been the target of misguided and confusing criticism by activist groups and a handful of mayors who have presented misinformation and subjective criticism as facts," the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) said today in a news release. It said the IBWA has provided the facts about bottled water to virtually every major U.S. media outlet and in local markets nationwide. The release said IBWA has "set the record straight about the bottled water industry's outstanding record of environmental stewardship and responsible use of resources, the industry's demonstrated support of recycling, bottled water regulation and safety, and the role of bottled water as a consumer beverage-of-choice." "IBWA determined that the effectiveness of advertising would help cut through the clutter and provide a direct line to consumers with the facts and good news about bottled water," said IBWA President and CEO Joseph K. Doss. "Some groups seek to pit bottled water against public drinking water systems. Any actions that discourage the use of this healthy beverage choice are not in the public interest." The bottled water industry supports and relies on safe, quality ground water resources as well as municipal water systems, the release said, adding we are interested in strengthening, not undermining, municipal water sources and bottled water sales have nothing to do with tap water infrastructure funding or drinking water system improvements. Doss concluded, "If the debate is about the impact of plastic packaging on the environment, a narrow focus on bottled water spotlights only a small portion of the packaged beverage category and an even smaller sliver of the universe of packaged products. Any efforts to reduce the resources necessary to produce and distribute packaged goods-and increase recycling rates--must focus on ALL packaging. News Release_ 8/2/07

July, 2007

Danone eyes Indian bottled water brands - report

French food company Groupe Danone has shortlisted acquisition targets in the Indian bottled water market, including DS Group's Catch and Sheelpe Enterprises' Aava, the Economic Times said on Friday. Danone, which also imports its Evian water brand in India, has been reported to be keen on increasing its presence in the beverages and dairy business in India, which are growing quickly on the back of rising incomes and the expansion of modern trade. Reuters_ 7/27/07

New regulations for South Africa's bottled water
From Saturday, all enterprises producing bottled water for sale to the public will be regulated and monitored by the department of health.  Until now, bottled water in South Africa has been regulated according to the general safety and quality criteria governing the production of food.  Following representation and recommendations from the South African Natural Bottled Water Association (SANBWA), the department drew up new legislation specific to the bottled water industry.  South Africa's new bottled water legislation stipulates what sources of water are acceptable, what types of treatment are required, the maximum levels of certain substances, and what information bottlers must display on their labels.  Independent Online_7/27/07

Pepsi says Aquafina is tap water

Pepsi-Cola announced Friday that the labels of its Aquafina brand bottled water will be changed to make it clear the product is tap water. The new bottles will say, "The Aquafina in this bottle is purified water that originates from a public water source," or something similar, Pepsi-Cola North America spokeswoman Nicole Bradley told CNN. The bottles are currently labeled: "Bottled at the source P.W.S." Americans spent about $2.17 billion on Aquafina last year, according to Beverage Digest, an independent company that tracks the global beverage industry. The U.S. bottled water business in 2006 totaled roughly $15 billion, it said. No timetable was available for when customers will see the label change on store shelves, another Pepsi spokeswoman, Michelle Naughton, told CNN. Coca-Cola does not have plans to change the labeling on its Dasani brand bottled water, a company spokesman told CNN, despite the fact the water also comes from a public water supply. Dasani's U.S. sales totaled approximately $1.89 billion in 2006, according to Beverage Digest calculations. Nestle also has announced it will be changing the bottles of its All Nestle Pure Life Purified Drinking Water to "identify the source of the water, whether it's from a municipal supply or ground-water well source." That change "will be showing up on labels this year and is expected to be on all of these labels by the end of the first quarter of 2008," the company said in a written statement. According to a 1999 report by National Resource Defense Council, an environmental advocacy group based in Washington, "about one-fourth of bottled water is bottled tap water [and by some accounts, as much as 40 percent is derived from tap water] - sometimes with additional treatment, sometimes not." CNN_ 7/27/07

Pepsi agrees to identify source of Aquifina bottled water as a "public water" supply

After months of intensive campaign activity, Pepsi has agreed to provide consumers with more information about the source of the water used for Aquafina. In direct response to a national day of action yesterday, Pepsi agreed to spell out “Public Water Source” on the Aquafina label. As part of the Think Outside the Bottle campaign, thousands of people across the US have been urging Pepsi to make changes in the Aquafina label, which includes an image of snow-capped mountains and states “pure water, perfect taste”. Though the image implies that the source of Aquafina is mountain spring water, it actually uses tap water as its source. In fact, up to 40% of bottled water uses tap water as its source. Pepsi’s decision to change the Aquafina label comes in the midst of growing national attention to the bottled water industry. Last month San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom banned city spending on bottled water and the US Conference of Mayors adopted a resolution highlighting the importance of public water systems and the negative impact of bottled water. Corporate Accountability International News Release_ 7/26/07

Anheuser pushing Icelandic "carbon neutral" water
As if bottled-water choices such as "artisanal," "spring," "mineral," and "filtered" were not enough, Anheuser-Busch Cos Inc. is adding one more: "carbon neutral."  The No. 1 U.S. beer maker said on Wednesday it had taken a 20 percent equity stake in the environmentally conscious maker of Icelandic Glacial spring water and plans to sell the water in the United States, starting in California, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. It plans to go nationwide in 2008.  Icelandic Glacial's selling point is that the company has been certified as "carbon neutral," meaning it voluntarily offsets the carbon dioxide pollution it causes through actions such as planting trees.  The company hopes to cut its contribution to global warming at a time when the bottled water industry is coming under pressure from critics who say it depletes natural water sources, adds plastic to landfills and uses too much energy by producing and shipping bottles across the world.  Reuters_7/18/07

It's bottled water and it costs 55 bucks!

The next wave in fancy water comes in a frosted bottle sparkling with Swarovski crystals, goes for $50 to $90 a pop and is called Bling H2O. Bling H2O, the brainchild of Hollywood writer-producer Kevin Boyd, is a big splash on the West Coast. Now it has reached high-end Westchester, New York watering hole Via Genova in Chappaqua, home of the Clintons. The ritzy refreshment is bottled at a Tennessee spring and purified in a nine-step process that includes ozone, ultraviolet treatment and micro-filtration. The crystal-encrusted bottles, which also come in gold and cobalt blue, have been swilled by A-listers Ben Stiller and Jamie Foxx in luxe locales like the MGM Mirage in Las Vegas and at the 48th Grammy Awards show. Paris Hilton reportedly poured it for her pampered pooch. "They're luxury waters," said Diane Felicissimo, owner of Via Genova water bar, which boasts more than 80 bottles of designer agua from British Columbia, Canada, to Shuzenji, Japan. Daily News_ 7/14/07

Coca-Cola accuses Danone, Euro RSCG of smearing its Dasani water in Latin America

The Coca-Cola Co. said Thursday its Argentinian subsidiary has filed a criminal complaint against executives of a unit of French food and drink maker Danone and public relations firm Euro RSCG, accusing them of orchestrating a smear campaign against Coke's Dasani water brand. Atlanta-based Coca-Cola said in a statement that the complaint was filed in Argentina against two executives at Aguas Danone de Argentina and an executive at Euro RSCG Buenos Aires under the country's Unfair Trade Practices statute. Euro RSCG is based in New York. Coca-Cola alleges the executives were behind a widely circulated two-year Internet campaign that made false statements against Dasani. Coke spokesman Dana Bolden said the maximum penalty that can be imposed by the court in Argentina is a fine of up to $10,000 per individual, which would be paid to the Argentina treasury, not to the company. Dasani was launched in Argentina in October 2005, and then released in other countries in Latin America. Immediately following the launch, Coca-Cola said, the brand was maligned as "bottled tap water" and "cancer water" on the Internet. Major customers in Argentina have refused to sell Dasani because of the rumors, Coca-Cola said. Messages left Thursday with a spokeswoman at Euro RSCG and with Group Danone SA's public relations staff in France seeking comment were not immediately returned. AP/MSNBC_ 7/14/07

China points finger at "fake" water

Up to half of the water used in water coolers across China's capital could be "fake", or not as pure as its manufacturers claim, state media said on Tuesday of the latest in a series of health scares. The bogus water was either tap water or purified water of miscellaneous small brands poured into empty barrels sealed with quality standard marks, the China Daily said, quoting Liu Xiaoyun, the Beijing sales manager of a bottled water brand. Liu said the counterfeits began to appear in Beijing in 2002, five years after barrelled, as opposed to bottled, water emerged as an industry. Three years ago, a nationwide inspection on barrelled water found a 22 percent substandard rate. In the most serious case, 80 percent of barrelled water in the southern province of Jiangxi was reportedly not the real thing. China's health safety failings have drawn world attention since mislabelled chemical exports were found in cough syrup in Panama and pet food in the United States. Reuters_ 7/10/07

New York City promotes tap water

The City of New York is trying to persuade its people to give up bottled drinks and consume tap water instead to help protect the environment. It has launched an advertising campaign to promote the cause, with local restaurants encouraged to join in. City officials say their campaign will save people money, and reduce waste. According to environmental groups, four out of five plastic water bottles end up on landfill sites and the production process contributes to global warming. The distribution process sometimes involves shipping water halfway around the world. But the Bottled Water Association says it is unfair to single out an industry that is promoting recycling and introducing biodegradable packaging. BBC News_ 7/10/07

Bottled water ban: Salt Lake City mayor cuts no slack for fire crews

When Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson last fall asked city department heads to eliminate bottled water, it sounded alarms with the ladder-truck-driving, ax-wielding population. The elimination won't have firefighters drinking from their hoses, but it is changing their hydration habits. Sometime within the next two weeks, the Fire Department will stop hauling chests of bottled water and sport drinks to blazes and will issue refillable 10-ounce containers to each firefighter. Police Chief Chris Burbank is considering options to give similar water containers to every police employee. Police spokesman Jeff Bedard said the department's SWAT team, when given advanced notice, brings large coolers of water or a sports drink to an operation. Salt Lake Tribune_ 7/7/07

UK's Hadham Water recalls "Naturally Pure" English Spring Water over contamination fears

Hadham Water has recalled its two-litre bottles of still and carbonated Hadham Naturally Pure English Spring Water because of possible bacterial contamination. The Food Standards Agency is advising people not to drink the batches in question amid fears that doing so could cause sickness and diarrhoea. But the Health Protection Agency said it was not currently aware of any cases of illness that have resulted from drinking this water. TalkingRetail.com_ 7/4/07

June, 2007

Position statement of IBWA: San Francisco mayoral ban on bottled water purchases ignores important facts

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom has issued an Executive Directive to ban the purchase of bottled water by San Francisco City and County governments. The Mayor's order contains a number of misinformed statements. The fact is that bottled water is comprehensively regulated as a packaged food product by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the State of California, which mandates stringent standards to help ensure bottled water's consistent safety, quality and good taste. By law, FDA bottled water standards must be at least as stringent and protective of public health as U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards for municipal drinking water systems.  The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) applauds San Francisco for an admirable job of providing safe drinking water to its citizens and stands ready to work with Mayor Newsom and city and county leaders across the country to address the need for safe drinking water for healthy communities. However, the Mayor's comments and actions only encourage an unnecessary and confusing "bottled water versus tap water" debate.  earthtimes.org_6/25/07

San Francisco mayor cuts off flow of city money for bottled water

San Francisco city government will no longer be allowed to use city money to buy bottled water for its employees under an executive order Mayor Gavin Newsom is expected to sign today. Despite owning a pristine reservoir in the Sierra Nevada that is said to produce some of the country's best-tasting tap water, the city spends nearly $500,000 a year on bottled water. Newsom is making good on a year-old promise to curb spending on bottled water in the wake of a 2006 Chronicle story that found San Francisco had paid more than $2 million for water, paper cups and dispenser rentals in recent years. By Dec. 1, all city departments located on city property must switch from bottled water dispensers to dispensers that attach to taps or water pipes and use water from the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir in Yosemite National Park. Those dispensers cost about $400 each, but the city's environmental director, Jared Blumenfeld, said that in the long run the cost will be cheaper than the $500,000-a-year bottled water bill the city currently pays. In 2005, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa ordered city agencies to stop buying bottled water for employees after the media reported that the city had spent nearly $90,000 on it. At the same time, the city water agency was financing a $1 million ad campaign praising the virtues of what came out of the tap. San Francisco Chronicle_ 6/22/07

Bottled water market one of fastest growing beverage categories

It's also one of the most sought-after markets by beverage companies as consumers continue to seek out healthier alternatives to sugary soft drinks. Soft drink giants Coca-Cola Co. (nyse: KO - news - people ) and PepsiCo Inc. (nyse: PEP - news - people ) have been snapping up beverage companies that make water, tea and energy drinks. Last month, Coca-Cola announced its biggest acquisition ever - a $4.1 billion purchase of Energy Brands Inc., also known as Glaceau, the maker of Vitaminwater and other enhanced water brands. The deal is just one indication that water is now a hot commodity. And it is poised to get even hotter in the next few years. In fact, according to recent research from Beverage Digest, an industry trade journal, plain and enhanced water are set to drive nearly a third of the beverage industry's growth through 2009. Much of the trend comes from consumers' desire to limit the sugar and high fructose corn syrup that sweetens most soft drinks. AP/Forbes_ 6/19/07

Sparkling or still? Italy's Ferrarelle splashes into water war

Legend has it that the ancient Romans refreshed themselves with the bubbly water that springs out of an extinct volcano near Naples, a reference to which can be found even in philosopher Pliny the Elder's works. A marketing dream perhaps, but not enough to stop the company that bottles that water, Ferrarelle, from sliding into losses a few years ago as competition heated up in Italy's bottled water market. Now in the hands of a new owner, Ferrarelle has begun an ambitious plan to return to its glory days. But competition has become even more cut-throat and today it is one of about 120 companies battling it out in Italy, which boasts the world's largest per capita consumption of bottled water. Ferrarelle is one of the oldest Italian bottled water brands and the No.3 player in Italy behind Nestle and Acqua Minerale San Benedetto SpA. After three years of losses and new initiatives, Carlo Pontecorvo, the Neapolitan entrepreneur who took over the Ferrarelle business in 2005, says his business is finally headed for breakeven this year. Reuters_ 6/15/07


Hot cars no danger to bottled water, industry and FDA say

Claims that plastic bottled water containers stored in warm environments (e.g., a hot automobile) “leach” unnamed chemicals that cause breast cancer or other maladies are not based in science and are unsubstantiated, the International Bottled Water Assn. said in a news release Friday. There are no studies which prove this theory, the release said. These allegations have been perpetuated by viral emails and media hype and only serve to frighten and confuse consumers, according to the release. For approved plastics, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), has found that the levels of migration to food of the substances due to the use of the plastics in contact with food are well within the margin of safety based on information available to the agency. This means no short or long term health effects are likely to occur, even from life-long, daily dietary exposure to these substances migrating from plastic food-contact materials, the news release said. The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) does urge consumers to handle and store bottled water containers with the same care and respect as they would any other food or beverage product. News Release_ 6/8/07

Tucson, Arizona Red Cross seeks bottled water for disaster relief

The Southern Arizona Red Cross is collecting water for victims of disasters. Prepacked cases of bottled water in 12 to 20 ounce bottles can be donated to the Red Cross office at 5301 East Broadway. "We always have water with us," said . "We distribute bottles of water whenever we respond to a home fire or other disaster where, most of the time, families have lost everything," said Cheryl Bender, Red Cross emergency services director. To arrange a donation or to find out more about the Red Cross, call 318-6861 or visit www.redcrossarizona.org Tucson Citizen_ 6/4/07

India's Tata Tea to buy 10.74% stake of Mount Everest Mineral Water

Mount Everest Mineral Water is the owner of the Himalayan brand of bottled water which has a market share of nearly 75%. A separate task force has been established by Tata Tea to manage the bottled business. Pradeep Poddar, former managing director of Heinz India, as CEO of the new business, will look after the bottled division. IRIS_ 6/2/07

May, 2007

China seizes 118 tons of Evian water
Groupe Danone said Wednesday that Chinese officials had seized about 118 tons of its Evian mineral water on the ground that it breached local safety rules.  The water, which arrived in China in February, failed quality inspections by Shanghai customs officials for having excessive amounts of bacteria, Danone, based in Paris, said in an e-mailed statement. The water is being kept in a warehouse and will be shipped back to France, the company said.  Danone joins the KFC chain and retailers like Procter & Gamble and Wal-Mart Stores among international consumer goods companies to have fallen afoul of Chinese health regulators in the past two years.  China's government applies a bacteria standard "different from that set by the World Health Organization," Danone said in its statement. "We need to reassure consumers that the microbial flora existing in our products is totally safe."  International Herald Tribune_5/30/07

A few fashionable restaurants fight the tide and tilt to tap water

It started with a few restaurants in California and now one of New York's top eateries has switched from bottled water to tap. It’s a big move in the restaurant industry, which, if you extrapolate from the amount of water it buys, takes in at least $200 million to $350 million from bottled water a year, according to the restaurant consultant Clark Wolf. Soon the owners of Del Posto in New York, the most elegant and expensive of the restaurants in the empire of Joseph Bastianich and Mario Batali, will be joining the nascent movement — once they decide on the proper containers for their filtered still and carbonated tap water. Etched on the glass will be an explanation of why bottled water is no longer available. There’s a big profit in bottled water, even though some of it comes out of a tap before it goes into the bottle. Restaurants buy it for $1 or $2 and sell it for as much as $8, or even more, giving it the highest markup of any item on the menu. Most restaurants making their own sparkling water are not charging for it. New York Times_ 5/30/07 (logon required)

Coke in talks to buy UK's Highland Spring: papers

Coca-Cola Co. is in talks to buy Britain's No. 2 bottled water brand Highland Spring in a potential 500 million pound ($992.7 million) deal, British Sunday newspapers reported. The Sunday Times and Sunday Telegraph, citing industry sources, reported Coke, the world's No. 1 beverage company, was in talks with Highland Spring, owned by the Dubai based Tajir family. A spokeswoman for Highland Spring declined to comment. Coke could not be immediately reached. Reuters_ 5/27/07

Coca-Cola buys maker of Glaceau, Vitaminwater and Smartwater for $4.1 billion

Coca-Cola Co., the world's biggest soda maker, is trying to narrow the gap with PepsiCo Inc. in sales of noncarbonated drinks. Coca-Cola will pay cash for closely held Energy Brands Inc., which controls about 30 percent of the U.S. market for flavored water. The transaction will probably add to Coca-Cola's per-share earnings in the first full year after completion, the Atlanta-based company said today in a Business Wire statement. Coca-Cola wants Glaceau to compete with PepsiCo's SoBe LifeWater, Aquafina Alive and Propel. The company depends on soda for 80 percent of sales, compared with less than 20 percent for PepsiCo, the leader in noncarbonated beverages. Last August, India's Tata Group bought a 30 percent stake in Glaceau for $677 million, valuing the company at $2.26 billion. Bloomberg_ 5/25/07

Bottle Bill: Oregon Senate approves 5-cent deposit on plastic water bottles

Oregon was the first state in the nation to require a deposit on bottles. It's 1971 law increased recycling by 80 percent. On Thursday, the Senate voted to expand the law to include the plastic containers used for water and flavored water. Democrats say the bill is needed because the original Bottle Bill only included malt beverage and carbonated beverage containers. Oregonians are currently throwing away 126 million empty water bottles each year. Adding water bottles to the Bottle Bill, Democrats say, has the potential to increase the recycling of millions more beverage containers, keep millions of containers out of landfills and conserve energy and resources. Bend Weekly_ 5/25/07

Bottled water has high environmental costs- report
Bottled water, the world's fastest growing beverage, carries a heavy environmental cost, adding plastic to landfills and putting pressure on natural springs, the author of a new report said.  "Bottled water is really expensive, in terms of environmental costs and economically," said Ling Li, who wrote the report for the Washington-based Worldwatch Institute.  The environmental impact can start at the source, where some local streams and underground aquifers become depleted when there is "excessive withdrawal" for bottled water, according to the report.  In addition to the energy cost of producing, bottling, packaging, storing and shipping bottled water, there is also the environmental cost of the millions of tonnes of oil-derived plastic needed to make the bottles.  Most water is bottled in polyethylene terephthalate, or PET, which requires less energy to recycle and does not release chlorine into the atmosphere when burned. But recycling rates have declined: about 23.1 percent of PET water bottles were recycled in the United States in 2005, compared with 39.7 percent 10 years earlier, the report said.  Bottled water costs from 240 to 10,000 times as much as water straight from the tap. In dollars, that means such water sold in most industrialized countries costs $500 to $1,000 per 1 cubic metre (35.3 cu ft), compared with 50 cents per cubic metre in California, where the quality of tap water is high.  Reuters_5/10/07

What's in those water bottles? California considers disclosure law

State Sen. Ellen Corbett, D-San Leandro introduced legislation -- SB220 -- that would require bottled-water companies to compile an annual "consumer confidence report" detailing results of water-quality tests. It also would require bottled-water packaging to clearly identify the source of the contents and inform consumers where they can obtain more info, and require that water-vending machines be cleaned at least once a month. Her bill is scheduled to be heard next week in the Senate Appropriations Committee. The bottled-water industry opposes Corbett's legislation. It says there are already plenty of regulations to keep consumers safe. San Francisco Chronicle_ 5/4/07

Bottled water sales outstrip milk in the U.S., nears beer

For the first time ever, Americans on average drank more bottled water in 2006 than milk, according to an industry newsletter that tracks U.S. beverage sales. And Americans drank nearly as much bottled water as beer. If the trend continues, Americans could be drinking more bottled water than tap water within a few years. John Sicher, publisher of industry newsletter Beverage Digest, which tabulated the consumption figures, said portability and health are the key reasons for bottled water's popularity. Beverage Digest's figures showed average per capita consumption of bottled water grew from 11 to 21 gallons between 1996 and 2006. Atlanta Journal-Constitution_ 5/4/07

PepsiCo to review label of Aquifina bottled water

PepsiCo Inc.'s new chairwoman Indra Nooyi vowed Wednesday to re-examine the label of the company's popular Aquafina bottled water, after concerns were raised by a watchdog group. The action came at PepsiCo's annual shareholder meeting. Corporate Accountability International, a Boston-based group that challenges a range of corporate actions, has waged a campaign against PepsiCo, the Coca-Cola Co. and other makers of bottled water – one of the fastest-growing beverage categories – saying such products undermine consumer confidence in the public water supply. In regard to PepsiCo, the group charges, among other things, that Aquafina's label should tell consumers that the water usually comes from the area's municipal water supply – the same source as common tap water. PepsiCo, based in Purchase, N.Y., says it puts the water through a seven-step process to remove minerals and other impurities. It then sells the processed water at a healthy premium. Aquafina is the nation's No. 1 selling bottled water, with a 14.5 percent market share last year, up from a 13.8 percent share in 2005, according to Beverage Digest, a trade publication. Nooyi, who took over Wednesday as chairman of PepsiCo following the retirement of Steve Reinemund, defended the company and the label. Dallas Morning News/WFAA_ 5/3/07

April, 2007

Honolulu firm joins rush to export deep-ocean water

Deep Ocean Hawaii early this week will launch its first vessel, the Spirit of the North, to harvest deep-ocean water 3.4 miles off the Waianae coast. Honolulu-based Deep Ocean says it is the first company to use a mobile system to pump deep seawater, instead of piping it from shore. It comes on the heels of a handful of deep-water harvesters already established in the state, including Big Island water bottler Koyo USA Corp., which operates the largest deep-sea water bottling plant in the world. Deep Ocean is operated under the company's larger umbrella, DSH International Inc. The water, drawn from a hose lowered 2,000 feet below the surface from the moored boat, is free of most contaminants because it is pulled from below a deep thermocline layer, Deep Ocean Vice President Rich Treadway said. Treadway declined to name buyers or give price estimates for the water, but said initial interest has been in the bottled water industry. Next month's production already has been sold, he said. Star-Bulletin_ 4/30/07

New book gives corporate bottled water wars an in-depth treatment

The book by documentary filmmakers Alan Snitow and Deborah Kaufman and journalist and film critic Michael Fox is, Thirst: Fighting the Corporate Theft of Our Water. They point out that the Environmental Protection Agency imposes and enforces rigid standards for municipal tap water, while the Food and Drug Administration, which oversees bottled water, pays more attention to what's in the labels on the bottles than it does to the water in them. The real issue raised by the activists and the authors is bigger than just bottled water versus tap water. They are challenging the notion that a common resource as vital as water should be allowed to come under the control of giant multinational corporations driven solely by profit.

304 pages $27.95 Star-Telegram_ 4/30/07

Nestle introduces lighter-weight water bottle

One of the nation’s biggest sellers of bottled water, Nestle Waters North America, has introduced a bottle that weighs 15 percent less than those sold today, an effort that will reduce waste, emissions and the cost of raw materials. Nestle has started selling certain brands in a 12.5-gram bottle, which the company took two years to create and will help it save 65 million pounds of plastic resin a year, Chief Executive Kim Jeffery said today. The company sells brands such as Poland Spring, Arrowhead, Deer Park, Ozarka, Perrier and S. Pellegrino. The new bottle is being sold under the Ozarka and Arrowhead brands and will roll out under other brands throughout this year. Other bottles on the market can weigh 25 grams or more, he said. The company has one more, lighter version planned before it reaches its limit in making bottles lighter. AP/Green Bay Press-Gazette_ 4/17/07

U.S. bottled water sales up by 8.5% in 2006 to more than $10.8 billion

The 2006 statistics released by the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA), in conjunction with Beverage Marketing Corporation (BMC) were compiled by BMC. Total bottled water volume exceeded 8.25 billion gallons, a 9.5 percent increase over 2005. The 2006 bottled water per capita consumption level of 27.6 gallons increased by over two gallons, from 25.4 gallons per capita the previous year. Additionally, the wholesale dollar sales for bottled water exceeded $10.8 billion in 2006, an 8.5 percent increase over the $10 billion in 2005. Stephen R. Kay, IBWA Vice President of Communications, said " during 2006, individual servings of bottled water in sizes of 1.5 liters and smaller accounted for 57.1% of the volume of bottled water sold, indicating that consumers are choosing bottled water in lieu of other bottled drinks." News Release_ 4/9/07

Scotland's Highland Spring bottled water no longer can claim to be "natural"

From now on, Highland Spring, which is based in Perthshire and is one of the biggest bottled water producers in Scotland, will only be entitled to call its produce "spring water." Natural mineral water, seen as a premium product, must come from only one source. Highland Spring has decided to draw its supplies from several sources - a decision which could see it bottling and producing an extra one hundred million litres a year. STV_ 4/9/07

Armenian Jermuk bottled water: A tale of arsenic and old ways

For generations, bottled mineral water from the town of Jermuk has been a kind of national tonic in Armenia, proudly sipped like a fine chardonnay in California or taken for its perceived medicinal value, like chicken soup. So when the FDA warned Americans last month to stop drinking five brands of imported Jermuk water because of unsafe levels of arsenic, the action touched off more than a mere product recall for local distributors. It was seen by many as an insult to Armenians, stirring passions from the ethnic enclaves of Glendale and North Hollywood in California all the way to the mountain resort in the West Asian country that supplies the bubbly water. After the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warning, Canada and Hong Kong followed suit, issuing their own advisories. The recall swiftly prompted coverage in the Armenian press, with government officials defending the water. One economist went so far as to speculate in the AZG Armenian Daily that the recall was part of a plot by France, Germany and Italy, who export their own mineral water, to prevent competition from Armenian bottlers. Federal rules permit no more than 10 micrograms of arsenic per liter of bottled water; U.S. government lab tests showed that the recalled water had between 454 and 674 micrograms per liter. (A liter equals about a quart.) But that's well within Armenian safety limits, wrote Naira Manucharova, a spokeswoman with the Armenian Consulate General in Beverly Hills, in an e-mail to the Times. The Armenian health ministry permits arsenic levels up to 700 micrograms per liter. Jermuk water naturally contains arsenic, she wrote. Los Angeles Times_ 4/2/07 (logon required)

March, 2007

Chez Panisse among restaurants leading bottled water backlash
Bye-bye bottled water. Hello eau de tap. A new trend is in the pipeline with some upscale restaurants ditching packaged H2O in the name of conservation.   The bottled water backlash, which recently spread to the venerable Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkeley, is spurred by environmental concerns over the energy used in transportation as well as the disposal of all those containers.  "We just decided this was something we had to do," said Mike Kossa-Rienzi, general manager of Chez Panisse, where owner Alice Waters has pioneered the eat local, eat fresh concept. "It just makes sense to us to not have to use all the energy and resources to bottle water in Italy and then truck it to our restaurant and then after that deal with the recycling of it."  Chez Panisse stopped serving bottled non-sparkling water last year and expects to stop serving bottled carbonated water in a few weeks, just as soon as they get their new carbonator installed, said Kossa-Rienzi, who visited a San Francisco restaurant, Incanto, to see how they made the switch some years ago.  Across the San Francisco Bay at Poggio in Sausalito, Larry Mindel has been serving filtered tap water—he has a machine that filters and carbonates—since the restaurant opened in 2003.  Environmental concerns are one factor. Another is price. Even though he could charge diners double or triple what he pays for water, he said it gives him a "stab" to pay so much—or charge others—for something that falls from the sky.  "Haven't you gone to a restaurant and they just expect you to order two or three bottles of water and it's $27 by the time you're done?" he said. "I just thought that from a consumer's point of view that they were getting shortchanged."  San Jose Mercury News_3/28/07

FDA warns again about arsenic in "Jermuk" bottled water from Armemia

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is re-issuing its warning to consumers not to drink "Jermuk" brand mineral water due to the risk of exposure to arsenic, a toxic substance and a known cause of cancer in humans. The agency is providing this information again to consumers due to an expansion of the recall initiated by the products' importers and distributors. "Jermuk" water is imported from Armenia and distributed under different labels in California. Five brands of these products have been recalled since March 7. The latest recall, which was initiated on March 16 by the product's distributor, Andreas Andreasyan DBA Arnaz & Nelli Co., North Hollywood, CA., is for "Jermuk Natural Mineral Water Fortified with Gas from the Spring". This product is additionally labeled as "Produced by Sam-Har Co. Republic of Armenia" and "Exclusive Distributor in USA: Arnaz & Nelli Inc., CA 91605". Although arsenic is a well known human poison, there is little chance that someone would become seriously ill after consuming the recalled products over a brief period of time (days to weeks). However, it is likely that the person would experience nausea, abdominal pain and possibly vomiting, which are indicators of arsenic toxicity.

The following products were recalled on March 7:

* "Jermuk Original Sparkling Natural Mineral Water Fortified With Natural Gas From The Spring". The product is in glass bottles and is additionally labeled as "2006 Jermuk Mayr Gortsaran CJSC" and "Imported by: Zetlian Bakery Inc." The importer and distributor is Zetlian Bakery, Inc., Pico Rivera, CA.
* "JERMUK,1951, NATURAL MINERAL WATER, JERMUK MAYR GORTSARAN CJSC." The product is in plastic bottles which are additionally labeled as "Imported by: Zetlian Bakery Inc." The importer and distributor is Zetlian Bakery, Inc., Pico Rivera, CA.
* "Jermuk Sodium Calcium Bicarbonate and Sulphate Mineral Water". The product is additionally labeled as "Bottled by ARPI Plant, Republic of Armenia" and "Exclusive US importer and distributor: Importers Direct Wholesale Co., Los Angeles, CA". The product is being recalled by Importers Direct Wholesale Company, Los Angeles, CA.
* "Jermuk, Natural Mineral Water Sparkling". The product, recalled on March 7 is additionally labeled as "Bottled by Jermuk Group CJSC" and "Sale Agent Kradjian Importing Co. Inc." in Glendale, CA. The product is being recalled by Kradjian Importing Company, Glendale, CA. Press Release_ 3/24/07

Reuters Feature: Lookalikes cash in on Russian mineral water ban

The distinctive, salty-tasting mineral water bottled in Georgia's Borjomi valley has been a fixture on Russians' dinner tables for decades. So when Russia's government banned the drink last year -- in what was widely seen as a political move to punish Georgia's pro-Western government -- it was only a matter of time before rivals tried to muscle in on its market. The company that makes Borjomi is waging war against what it calls "clones": mineral water brands that taste like Borjomi and with packaging that looks uncannily similar to the original but which are in fact bottled in Russia. Reuters_ 3/16/07

Ark Land bottled water may contain arsenic, Canada's food watchdog warns
Some bottles of Ark Land brand bottled water may contain arsenic, a pollutant known to cause cancer in humans, Canada's food watchdog says.  The Canadian Food Inspection Agency issued a recall Wednesday of Ark Land brand Naturally Carbonated Mineral Water sold in 330-millilitre(UPC 7 85000 12033 9) and 500-ml (UPC 7 85000 12050 6) bottles with a best before date of 09/05/07.  The water, imported from Armenia-based Arzni Source, was distributed in Ontario and Quebec and possibly across Canada.  The CFIA is monitoring the recall of the water from the marketplace.  There have been no reported illnesses associated with consumption of the product.  CBC.ca_3/15/07

Water cooler legionella case may be world first

Legionella bacteria detected in a Christchurch, NZ Hospital office-type water cooler filter may be the first case of its type in the world, health officials say.  They are warning businesses to check office water cooler filters after the find.  Testing was done at the hospital last October after a patient showed symptoms of legionnaires disease and one of 14 office-style water coolers was found to have a "significant level" of legionella bacteria in a filter.  The cooler, which had a filter that had some months to go before its expiry date, was removed from the hospital as soon as the test results were confirmed. Canterbury medical officer of health Mel Brieseman said office water coolers and drinking water filters were not usually checked for legionella because the disease was generally contracted through aerosol spray.  "We believe this is the first case of significant levels of legionella being detected in a drinking water cooler anywhere in the world, so we will be publishing the findings as a scientific curiosity," he said.

New Zealand Herald_3/9/07

Bottled water tainted with arsenic, U.S. watchdog says

Some brands of bottled water imported from Armenia contain 50 to 60 times the allowed level of a toxin known to cause cancer in humans, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Thursday.  Certain brands of Jermuk bottled water contain 500 to 600 micrograms of arsenic per litre, the FDA said. The agency allows a maximum of 10 micrograms per litre.  The FDA said consumers should avoid the water. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) said it is trying to determine if the brand was imported into Canada.

The Jermuk brands, which were distributed across the United States and have been recalled, include:
• Jermuk Original Sparkling Natural Mineral Water Fortified With Natural Gas From The Spring, imported by Zetlian Bakery Inc. of Pico Rivera, Calif.
• Jermuk Sodium Calcium Bicarbonate and Sulphate Mineral Water, imported by Importers Direct Wholesale Co. of  Los Angeles.
• Jermuk, Natural Mineral Water Sparkling, imported by Kradjian Importing Co. of Glendale, Calif.There are no known cases of exposure, but acute exposure to arsenic initially can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and stomach pain. Over a few days to weeks, it can affect the kidneys, liver, skin, and cardiovascular and nervous systems. "Extended exposure could lead to cancer and death," the FDA said.  Symptoms of acute exposure usually occur shortly after consumption. CBC.ca_3/8/07

February, 2007

Bottled water is the new wine
Just when you thought only one man could turn water into wine, along comes a Canadian entrepreneur with H2O that's bottled, sold and sipped as if it were the finest Cabernet.  And, at $54 for a case of 12, it might as well be.  Part of an emerging trend toward water connoisseurship, 10 Thousand BC is "ultra-premium" water derived from an environmentally protected glacier, bottled and corked to the sound of inspirational music -- much like playing Mozart to a baby in the womb -- and served to aficionados who shudder at the thought of table water containing more than four parts per million in total dissolved solids.
"Bottled water is the next wine," enthuses Michael Mascha, author of the new book Fine Waters: A Connoisseur's Guide to the World's Most Distinctive Bottled Waters.  Times Colonist_2/23/07

New Hampshire water rights group enlists presidential hopeful Rep. Dennis Kucinich in effort to oppose bottled water plant

The Ohio Democrat told Save Our Groundwater that he supports their concerns that a USA Springs project could deplete local water supplies. Kucinich said he would use his U.S. House subcommittee chairmanship to help their local issue. USA Springs company hopes to draw more than 300,000 gallons a day from area water supplies. Kucinich chairs the House Domestic Policy Subcommittee, a new panel whose oversight authority includes the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Interior. He said water rights will be as important in this century as oil rights were in the 20th Century. Boston Globe_ 2/19/07

$75 bottled water: Worth it, or money down the drain?

Americans spent more than $10 billion on bottled water last year. Now, a new generation of luxury bottled water, with upscale packaging and price tags to match, is flooding the marketplace. Bling H2O is one of the new high-end breeds. Its bottle, covered in Swarovski crystals, contains spring water from Tennessee. King Island Cloud Juice's bottle isn't anything out of the ordinary. Its real treasure, Tasmanian rainwater, is inside. Lauquen, one of the world's lightest waters, hails from exotic Patagonia. Le Bleu bills itself as the only "ultra pure" water on the market. Despite its French sounding name, the "premier" water is processed and packaged in North Carolina. ABC News_ 2/17/07

Earth Water of Edmonton, Canada gets UN bottled water approval

The company is directing its entire net profit to the international agency to fund clean water projects in Africa. Kori Chilibeck, 28, founder of Earth Water, says he expects to donate between $40,000 and $50,000 Cdn to the UN by the end of the year. In exchange for the company's donations, the UN has granted the company exclusive use of its logos for marketing. A UN spokeswoman said Earth Water profits are being used to fund projects in Chad. CBC_ 2/12/07

Florida's Wakulla Springs Bottled Water company has new plans

The company has new players and a new proposal for a water-bottling plant near Wakulla Springs - but it's still controversial. The Wakulla County Commission rejected the company's proposals in 2004 and 2005 when the company had a state permit to pump up to 1.4 million gallons a day. Now the company has plans to pump 70,900 gallons of water. Tallahassee Democrat_ 2/9/07

UK students aim to save lives in Africa

A team of self-styled 'philantrocapitalists' at Cardiff University, Wales, are seeking to transform lives in Africa through the sale of Welsh mineral water.  James Wheeler, 19, and his friends market the One brand of bottled water, and have struck a deal to supply accountancy giant PricewaterhouseCoopers.  Their company, Two Distribute, channels a fixed sum from the sale of each bottle to Play-Pumps International.  The charity builds and installs merry-go-rounds in African villages. Each time children play on them, water is pumped from bore holes 100 metres deep.  The water is stored in tanks above ground until it is needed.  The Welsh students, who have raised the start-up capital themselves, expect to sell 200,000 bottles of the Powys-sourced water this year.  The students are unashamed supporters of a capitalist vision of international development. Rather than appealing for donations, they aim to create a viable enterprise which will use its profits to provide a vital natural resource.  This concept has gained increasing popularity among anti-poverty activists. icWales.com_2/8/07

Sri Lanka Health Ministry to closely monitor bottled water industry

Random checks carried out by the Ministry revealed that there were many substandard products in the market produced without obtaining licenses. The Chief Food Authority will take legal action against traders and manufacturers violating the provisions of the Food (Bottled or Packaged Water) Regulations of 2005, Director, Environmental, Occupational health and Food Safety at the Health Ministry, Dr. Shanmugarajah said. The law applies not only to the locally manufactured products but to the imported ones as well, Dr, Shanmugarajah said. In terms of these regulations every plant carrying on the business of manufacturing bottled drinking water is required to be registered with the Chief Food Authority (Director General of Health Services, Food Control Administration Unit of the Ministry of Healthcare and Nutrition.) Dr. Shanmugarajah said that the registration number which is renewable once in every three years shall be displayed on the label or neck of the bottle. At present only 52 locally manufactured bottled water brands and three imported ones are registered under the Chief Food Authority. Nation on Sunday_ 2/4/07

New water jugs spark recycling concerns in Ontario, Canada
FernBrook Springs Bottled Water of Shelburne, Ont., introduced a 15-litre jug last year designed not to be reused, as in the past, but to be recycled at property taxpayer expense. It takes up nearly one third of the average 53-litre blue box, waste managers say, and recycling plants have no way to handle the jug except to throw it in the garbage. Canadian Springs of Mississauga, formerly Crystal Springs, introduced an eight-litre jug a year and a half ago that waste managers say poses most of the same problems. Both companies say the bottles represent an environmental step forward when used properly. "Single use," "no deposit" and "not reusable" the jugs say. They also say, "recyclable" and customers set them in blue boxes by the hundreds of thousands. Until now, bottles for such uses as water coolers in Ontario have come in 15- and 18-litre reusable polycarbonate jugs that take a deposit. Those jugs can be returned and reused. The bottled water companies handle the recycling and its associated costs, not the municipality. The new jugs are made from polyethylene terephthalate, or PET, the same plastic used for smaller sizes of bottled water and soft drinks. Theoretically, the material is highly recyclable. In reality, recycling plants have been unable to process them. Toronto Star_ 2/3/07

January, 2007

Chappaqua, New York water bar offers 33 kinds

Even at the finest Manhattan restaurants, the trendiest Hollywood clubs, the most luxurious spas, it would be remarkable: a menu offering 33 kinds of bottled water. But this list is found at Via Genova, a tiny suburban cafe with four tables, no front door and no cooking beyond a toaster and a waffle iron. The stock comes from 15 countries on five continents and costs from $4 to $55 a bottle. The menu provides a bit of history for each brand, and discloses its pH and "total dissolved solids" content. Several of the bottles are corked. Cafe owner Diane Felicissimo, a former social worker who did drug and alcohol counseling, didn't want to serve alcohol. "I thought, water is something the whole family can enjoy, but I didn't want to have the same water as everybody else." There's no Poland Spring, Perrier or San Pellegrino here. AP/Business Week_ 1/24/07

Aquafina introduces Aquafina Alive

Aquafina, the number one brand of bottled water in the U.S., is launching Aquafina Alive - a low calorie, vitamin-enhanced water beverage. It will be available in three flavor combinations - Berry Pomegranate, Peach Mango and Orange Lime - and hits shelves nationwide this month. Aquafina Alive is a division of PepsiCo, Inc. News Release/PRNewswire_ 1/23/07

How water bottlers tap into all sorts of sources
In early 2004, Coca-Cola launched its Dasani brand of bottled water in Britain. Dasani had already established itself as one of the most popular bottled waters in the United States.  Within weeks, however, Coke had a disaster in the making. The British press discovered that Dasani was nothing more than processed tap water and ran a series of indignant stories suggesting that consumers were being hoodwinked by the U.S. beverage giant.  Shortly afterward, a cancer-causing chemical -- bromate -- was discovered in Dasani bottles produced in Britain. The water was quickly withdrawn from store shelves and plans were canceled to market Dasani elsewhere in Europe, which to this day remains a Dasani-free zone.  San Francisco Chronicle_1/19/07

Zinwa wades into flooded Zimbabwe bottled water market

The Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) has begun bottling and selling water in order to fund the purchase of water purification chemicals and to relieve debt, Water Resources Minister Munacho Mutezo has said.  The water authority needs at least 130 tonnes of aluminium sulphate on a daily basis, and is saddled with heavy debts to Zesa and chemical supplier Zimphos.  Mutezo said the water bottling project had already passed Ministry of Health requirements on water purity.  The water would sell under the brand name "Kumakomo Springs", Mutezo said, and would soon be on the already crowded bottled water market.  The Standards Association of Zimbabwe (SAZ) estimates there are more than 20 different brands of bottled water on the local market, many of them uncertified.  All Africa_1/18/07

Water delivery firms sold
The nation's second-largest bottled water company has gone on a buying spree in Sacramento, acquiring two competitors in the regional business of delivering bottled water directly to homes and offices.  DS Waters of America Inc., based in Atlanta, has purchased Crystal Mountain Spring Water, as well as the home and office bottled-water customer base of Culligan Water Conditioning, both of Sacramento.  Adding those companies to its local portfolio, which already includes Sierra Springs Water Co. and Alhambra Water, makes DS Waters the biggest distributor of bottled water to home and office customers in the region, experts say.  Sacramento Bee_1/5/07

 

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