News & Media

News & Media

Feb 8, 2010

Study: Bottled Water Has Small Environmental Footprint

A new study released last week finds that water, in all its forms, has the least environmental impact of any beverage choice. When compared to other packaged beverages, including soft drinks, sports drinks, enhanced waters and juices, bottled water has the lightest environmental footprint.

Commissioned by Nestle Waters North America, the life-cycle analysis study is believed to be the first peer-reviewed, comprehensive analysis of the environmental impact of water and alternative beverage options, including filtered and un-filtered tap water consumed from reusable plastic, steel and aluminum containers.

According to the report, packaging and distribution are key contributors to a beverage’s carbon footprint. Key findings from the study include the fact that water is the least environmentally impactful beverage option. Water of all types accounts for 41 percent of a consumer’s total beverage consumption, but represents just 12 percent of a consumer’s climate change impact.

Bottled water is the most environmentally responsible packaged drink choice. Sports drinks, enhanced waters and soda produce nearly 50 percent more carbon dioxide emissions per serving than bottled water. Juice, beer and milk produce nearly three times as many carbon dioxide emissions per serving as bottled water.

“Water is the hero in this story. If people have access to good quality tap water, we’ve always felt they should use it,” said Kim Jeffery, president and CEO of Nestle Waters North America, in a press release. “And, from a health perspective, choosing bottled water — with no calories, sweeteners or additives — is about the smartest choice one can make among packaged beverages.”

The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) is the authoritative source of information about all types of bottled waters. Founded in 1958, IBWA's membership includes U.S. and international bottlers, distributors and suppliers. IBWA is committed to working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which regulates bottled water as a packaged food product, and state governments to set stringent standards for safe, high quality bottled water products. Additionally, IBWA requires member bottlers to adhere to the IBWA Bottled Water Code of Practice, which mandates additional standards and practices that in some cases are more stringent than federal and state regulations. A key feature of the IBWA Model Code is an annual plant inspection by an independent, third party organization.

For more information about IBWA, bottled water and a list of member‚ brands, please contact
Chris Hogan, IBWA‚ Vice President of Communications at 703-647-4609 or [email protected].

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Bottled Water - small water use, big health benefits

This cool video shows how bottled water is a very small and very efficient water user that spares people of billions of calories when they choose to drink water over other packaged drinks.

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