Daniel Hamermesh, a writer for the Freakonomics blog at the New York Times, writes this month about the foolishness of banning bottled water on a university campus.
Presumably, they figure that bottled-water consumers will switch to tap water, as tap water is bottled water’s closest substitute. I wonder — aren’t bottled soft drinks a closer substitute? Don’t people want the convenience of a container at their desk rather than an occasional drink at the water cooler (or a cup to be filled at the water cooler)?
This ban may well simply lead to substitution from bottled water to bottled soft drinks, with no reduction in pollution. Worse still, people will be substituting caloric soft drinks for zero-calorie water, so that the ban will help increase obesity among students and staff.
Be sure to read the comments, too. Apparently, most consumers are not drinking the Kool-Aid being poured by bottled water’s misinformed opponents.
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