IBWA Strikes (Out) Again

Last month, we wrote about the International Bottled Water Association‘s video, “The Real Story of Bottled Water,” a quirky rebuttal to Annie Leonard’s film – “The Story of Bottled Water” – on the bottled water industry’s dishonest marketing tactics. In their latest film, “The Inner Workings of a Bottled Water Plant,” the IBWA resorts to such tactics again:

While the intentions of the video are clearly to make the process of bottling water seem  both interesting and necessary, the tactics used just aren’t that convincing. From the beginning, it becomes obvious to viewers just how wasteful the bottled water industry really is.

The tour guide in the film emphasizes the fact that the source of the water bottled in his plant is a “natural spring,” which “flows year round.” He says, “If we were not in the bottled water business, it wouldn’t make any difference. It would still be flowing. It’s a natural spring.” This statement – likely unintentionally – makes the activity of buying bottled water seem ridiculous.  Since it flows naturally and freely from the ground all year long – why pay for it?

The plant admits to producing 150,000 gallons of water and up to 30,000 bottles of water a day. Filtered water and plastic, moreover, are not the only materials used in production – the plant houses thousands of product labels, which are placed on the bottles once they are filled and capped. The girl featured in the film compares the myriad of labels to the layout of a fabric store – and this is hardly an exaggeration. The tour guide mentions that labels establish the “brand identity” of each bottle, but fails to point out that the same water goes into every bottle, no matter which label is placed on it.

It seems that the only real selling point for bottled water is the fact that it  eliminates unwanted chemicals, like chlorine. But even that could be achieved with an in-home water filtration system, which is better for the environment and saves money.

Near the end of the film, the girl states: “I know I’m always gonna drink bottled water for the rest of my life.” After seeing all of the plastic and energy wasted in the production of bottled water – will you? Just like IBWA’s previous film, once again, I think this one’s a no-brainer.

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