Cool Chicago is becoming a rather hot spot in the debate – or lack thereof – between bottled water and tap water.
The Windy City has put a 5-cent tax on each container of bottled water sold there. Whether this tax will actually hold water is another story, as the move will likely be challenged in court.
In addition, the Chicago Sun-Times reports, City Hall plans to promote the use of tap over bottled and give away or sell blue, red and green stainless steel containers emblazoned with messages about conserving water and hydrating to maintain good health.
First, let’s look at the tax, as water isn’t the only product levied in Chi-town.
According to the Chicago Tribune, consumers pay a 3-percent soft-drink tax on top of the standard 9 percent sales tax on soda. Like most other groceries, the newspaper said, bottled water was taxed at 2 percent prior to the 5-cents-per-bottle tax approved this month by city council.
Water isn’t necessarily a substitute to the tap, and most consumers don’t use bottled water that way.
Bottled water is considered a healthy alternative to sodas and other beverages that contain sugar or calories or artificial flavors and are, generally, unhealthy. People buy bottled water for convenience, not to substitute their perfectly fine tap water.