Bottled water: the biggest scam in the history of mankind

Bottled water is in great demand all over the world. Its sales are growing by an average of 10% per year and by the next 2020, the turnover of this industry will be 280 billion dollars. If everything is clear with developing countries, what is the reason for the increase in demand for this product where the population is provided with high-quality tap water?

Bottled water: the biggest scam in the history of mankind

For the first time, bottled water began to be sold quite a long time ago, back in the XVIII century. In the 1760s, the Boston company Jackson's Spa bottled mineral water in glass bottles, offering them to its customers as a therapeutic remedy for various diseases.

Bottled water: the biggest scam in the history of mankind

The delivery of bottled water to the United States at the dawn of the XX century was already organized on a large scale and with the involvement of the most modern vehicles

This business developed very actively in many countries of the world, until the technology of chlorination of drinking tap water was invented in the XX century. The appearance of cheap and high-quality water in many homes in the United States and Europe, ordinary bottled water almost ceased to be purchased and only therapeutic, mineral water was actively sold.

The reputation of healing water from underground sources has been firmly established. In 1898, the French doctor Louis Perrier founded a hydrotherapy clinic in the city of Verezh and opened an enterprise for bottling mineral water from local sources.

Consumers of very expensive Perrier water are sure that they belong to the elite and consume the best. In fact, they have been shamelessly deceived for more than a century

Perrier supplied his product to elite hotels and restaurants in Europe, but his business was very small. Everything changed in 1946, when the company was bought out by an enterprising businessman Gustav Leven. This person has achieved that in a short time the water from Verezha took the lion's share of the European market, pushing out competitors such as Evian and Vittel.

Bottled water: the biggest scam in the history of mankind

Perrier marketers know a lot about the production of advertising, using the most effective images and technologies

This was a successful strategy for the American market — it worked and from 1975 to 1978, the volume of sales of Perrier water on the American market increased from 2.5 million to 75 million bottles per year. The fashion for a healthy lifestyle has helped Leven's business well. Bottled water was considered one of its main attributes before.

In the 1990s, a real revolution took place in the industry — such giants as PepsiCo (Aquafina water), Nestle (Pure Life water) and Coca-Cola (Dasani water) presented their bottled water on the market. After the entry of these manufacturers into the game, bottled water won the final victory over tap water.

Analysts of the Beverage Marketing Corporation have estimated that 460 billion liters of bottled water are sold annually in the world. The largest consumer of this product is China, whose residents buy 80 billion liters annually, and the second place is in the United States, where they sell 45 billion liters. The next positions in consumption are occupied by countries with a hot climate, such as Mexico, Indonesia, Brazil, India and Thailand.

Bottled water: the biggest scam in the history of mankind

The magnificent Dita von Teese can not do without Perrier water. Should we doubt its usefulness?

The top ten leaders in demand for bottled water are the prosperous European countries Germany, Italy and France, where 12, 11 and 9 billion liters of bottled water are sold each year, respectively. The demand for these products in these countries is high, despite the high quality of tap water.

Have you ever thought about how much bottled water is more expensive than tap water? The price difference is approximately 2000 times! There are countries where such water costs more than milk, beer and even gasoline. And this is not in developing countries where there is not enough drinking water, but in states where public services are at a height.

Bottled water: the biggest scam in the history of mankind

According to the public organization Food and Water Watch, in the United States, a liter of bottled water, on average, is three times more expensive than a liter of milk and almost 4 times more expensive than a liter of gasoline. Why is this happening? Why do people buy ordinary bottled water without sparing money for it?

The main trump card of bottled water manufacturers around the world is that it is more environmentally friendly, cleaner and healthier than any other. This is suggested to consumers with the help of clever marketing technologies, through commercials and billboards. In fact, what the cunning traders of ordinary water suggest to us has nothing to do with reality.

Bottled water: the biggest scam in the history of mankind

The water in the advertisement looks so attractive, especially on a hot summer day

Researchers from the Environmental Working Group company, who have been dealing with the quality of bottled water for a long time, inform that most manufacturers of this popular product do not hide that their product is the most ordinary tap water, but has undergone additional purification.

18 percent of brands still insist on the exceptional properties of their products, but categorically do not want to specify the location of mineral springs from which they receive their "life-giving moisture". This means that the source, as in the first case, is an ordinary water supply.

Laboratory studies show that in most cases, bottled water is no different from that taken from the tap. The "additional cleaning" that companies like to talk about so much does absolutely nothing in developed countries, since their tap water already meets the highest standards.

Bottled water: the biggest scam in the history of mankind

In European countries, standards are more demanding for tap water than for bottled water

An interesting fact is that in the United States and the European Union, the quality of tap water can theoretically be higher than bottled water. This seemingly absurd circumstance is due to the fact that the state controls tap water much more strictly than bottled water.

There are many examples when the water offered by manufacturers turned out to be dangerous for health and even life. In April 2019, the American consumer magazine Consumer Reports announced that arsenic with dangerous concentrations for the human body was found in the water of six popular brands in the United States: Starkey (owned by Whole Foods), Peñafiel (Keurig Dr. Pepper), Crystal Geyser Alpine Spring Water, Volvic (Danone), as well as Crystal Creamery and EarthOo.

Bottled water: the biggest scam in the history of mankind

Products of one of Nestle's factories in Canada is preparing to go to its consumers by air

But even if the manufacturer treats his duties as scrupulously as possible, the purified water poured into plastic bottles cannot be clean by default. During storage, even if it is not too long, it is inevitably contaminated with microparticles of the plastic from which the container is made.

It is also well known that even with a little heating, plastic begins to emit harmful chemicals that immediately fall into the water. That is why it is not recommended to leave bottled water in places where direct sunlight can fall on the container.

Bottled water: the biggest scam in the history of mankind

Plastic containers are unsafe — this fact is generally recognized

In advertising, brands focus on the fact that bottled water tastes better than tap water. Is this so? It is not difficult to verify this statement in The University of Vermont decided to put a bold dot in the question. There they gave a group of tasters to try tap water and water presented on the market by well-known companies, without the designation of belonging.

As it turned out, professional tasters in the vast majority of cases could not distinguish between tap water and water from a beautiful branded bottle, which costs hundreds of times more expensive. The president of the Pacific Institute, Peter Gleick, in his interview with Business Insider, said the following about this:

We should not forget that the environmental friendliness of the production of bottled water leaves much to be desired. Plastic bottles are one of the most serious polluting factors on the planet. In 2016, 2 million tons of plastic were used in the production of water bottles in the United States, for the production of which at least 64 million barrels of oil were extracted.

We can confidently say that the general belief that bottled water is better and more useful than ordinary tap water is the result of lobbying the interests of manufacturers of these products at the highest level and, of course, the effect of skillfully manufactured advertising.

Nestle Waters NA products

Business Insider conducted an approximate calculation of the funds invested by Nestle Waters NA, Nestle USA and Coca-Cola in lobbying their interests in the US Congress and it turned out that at least $ 28 million was spent for this purpose. And do you know what the main purpose of this lobbying is? It is not at all the popularization of bottled water. Producers are seeking to reduce budget expenditures on state water supply.

Also, well-known brands invest a lot in anti-advertising of tap water, showing its poor quality and danger to health. Any investment is justified here — millions of people around the world have begun to be afraid of tap water, and this applies even to residents of countries such as the United Kingdom, Switzerland and France.

The main secret of drinking water producers, which they will never voluntarily disclose, is the profitability of their business. Many respected experts are sure that the profit of players in this market can quite compete with the profit received by drug cartels from drug trafficking. The benefit of brands is not hundreds, but thousands of percent!

Bottled water: the biggest scam in the history of mankind

In the American documentary film "Stream: for the Love of Water", released in 2011, the authors give such a simple example. In the early 2000s, Nestle acquired the right to use water from Michigan springs for 99 years. The company paid 70 thousand dollars for this opportunity. It turns out a little a year, something about $ 700. What does one of the largest producers of bottled water have to do with this? The figure is amazing — the company earns more than $ 1.8 million a day on the spill of this water!

Keywords: Brand | Mineral water | Fraud | Danger | Drinking water