Bottled rainwater is a growing trend among avid premium bottled water consumers. On Saturday, February 26, six bottled rainwaters will compete in the award-winning Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting competition: Richard’s Rainwater, Oregon Rain, Texas Rain, Tasmanian Rain, SparkleTap and Rainwater Management Solutions. These six will be among over 100 bottled waters from around the globe. Since it is a bottled water “tasting” competition, I can’t predict who the winner will be because I don’t drink bottled water, but if the contest also took into account the sustainability of the process by which these waters are bottled, supposedly these six would be at the top.
That’s because bottled rainwater is supposed to be a “greener” alternative to other bottled waters. Rainwater harvesting is highly eco-friendly and has a lower carbon footprint than the processes used by conventional water bottlers. Rainwater catchments involve minimal processing. Rainwater is already pretty clean and does not require the complex filtration that chemically-treated water requires. Not to mention, many of these bottled rainwaters use eco-friendly packaging in the form of recyclable glass or biodegradable plastic. Tasmanian Rain even has an offsetting agreement with Elementree – an Australian company that plants trees based on the bottler’s water shipments and overall emissions.
But is bottled rainwater really greener? Even if it is greener, I don’t know that you could say it’s “green.” And I still think it’s got a long way to go to compete with filtered tap water. Putting something natural and eco-friendly inside of a plastic container (even if it is “biodegradable” plastic) just seems a little… ironic. Plus, not everyone can afford to purchase this water. It is, after all, more expensive than your average Deer Park.
What do you guys think?