The family of a woman in Central Indiana who died when a 4,100 pound pallet of bottled water fell on her at a Kroger store is suing Nestle Waters, arguing that the reason for the accident lies in the water bottles’ “eco-shape” design. According to the family, these bottles use less plastic, and therefore, can’t support as much weight as previous bottles.
Now, I’m not a huge fan of bottled water, and Nestle’s motives behind this supposed “eco-friendly” water bottle design are questionable (is this simply more green washing to boost profit?) But this might just be good enough to make it onto the list of the “10 Most Ridiculous Lawsuits of All Time.” Right up there with the one that started it all… (how dare McDonald’s serve hot coffee without a warning label?!? And how dare Nestle serve water in a bottle that might be better for the environment!) Apparently, “Nestle Waters didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.” Honestly, though Nestle might be among the worst corporations of 2010, and although they might fully deserve to be sued, I can’t say I blame them.
Bottled water is clearly dangerous, on multiple levels. But manufacturing bottles with more plastic is not the solution, as it only leads to a worse fate for our planet – and the billions of people living on it. This incident is just one of several recent incidents which underscore the dangers of bottled water - providing even more incentive to drop the bottled water habit, altogether.
BP will no doubt “win” the worst corporation of 2010, and enter Corporate Accountability International‘s Corporate Hall of Shame for its role in the worst environmental disaster this country has ever seen. Still, the organization wants you to cast your vote for the Worst Corporation of 2010.
Though I suspect BP will win by a landslide, it is important to let your voice be heard. After all, this poll is taking place on a site called “Democracy in Action.” If you find the business practices of any of these other seven corporations despicable, let it be known.
Personally, we take a lot of what Corporate Accountability International says to heart, especially since we share their vision: “Today the air we breathe, the water we drink and our very democracy are under increasing threat from corporate abuses.” In our industry, we’ve seen considerable criticism aimed at Nestlé Waters.
In March of this year, Food and Water Watch launched a “Keep Nestle Out of the Gorge” campaign in an effort to keep the bottled water giant from bottling water from the Columbia River Gorge. Greenpeace also campaigned extensively against Nestle earlier this year for the way in which they source palm oil and paper products. To be fair, Nestle countered with a zero-deforestation rather quickly.
We’re not trying to sway anyone’s votes here. In fact, I’d bet 90% or more of the votes will go to BP. But if you are genuinely fed up with any of the corporations above, let your voice be heard; send them to the Corporate Hall of Shame.