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Tap Water: On Its Way to Being Cool Again

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First it was the Plastic Bag Manufacturers. Now it’s the Bottled Water Industry. They are freaking out. Bottled water is under serious fire lately, and in my opinion, for good reason.

And, as with any time of publicity, there is money to be made. Sigg sales have gone up 200% in the last 3 months. [LA Times] Brita & Nalgene have teamed up to create the FilterForGood campaign to try to get you to drink filtered water out of a reusable bottle. Sorry, I mean out of a plastic reusable bottle (ironic?).

Chicago is considering a tax on bottled water. To this, Joseph Doss, President of the International Bottled Water Association has much to say including, “Any effort to reduce the environmental impact of packaging must focus on all consumer goods and not just target bottled water or any one industry.” True, true. Though I loved the sound of a bottled water tax, does it seem fair that a bottle of soda would not be taxed? It does not.

Penn & Teller covered this topic exquisitely on a BullShit episode several years ago. They give some good data, conduct an unscientific taste test, and play a little Candid Camera-esque trick with some unassuming restaurant goers. Check it out:

Incidentally, Susan Sawyers recently wrote a piece entitled Real Men Drink Tap Water. Does Al Gore? She wonders how Gore hydrates himself and if he’s being straight with us. The comments, however, are priceless. BobbyJoe writes: “If Al Gore rushed into a burning orphanage and saved eighteen babies and an elderly blind woman from the fire, most of the press and pundit class would spend all their time complaining that Gore hadn’t stopped and cleaned the sinks in the second-floor restroom on his way out of the building.” Much of the rest of the Huffington Post community agrees, bringing us back to this whole Hypocrites vs. Cynics discussion.Will the focus on bottled water bring celebrities to stop endorsing the bottled water, and start endorsing actual reusable bottles? Will people stop being “embarrassed” about ordering tap water at a restaurant, instead of bottled? We shall see.

Related: NRDC – Bottled Water: Pure Drink or Pure Hype?

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