An idle few minutes waiting for a tube found us pondering a poster championing the now unfashionable consumption of bottled water and sponsored by a quasi-official sounding organisation going by the name of the ‘Natural Hydration Council’. We are both big fans of the ersatz scientific ‘research’ body such as Laboratoires Garnier or The Institute of Trichologists and so were sufficiently hooked to visit the associated website the following day.
Sure enough, a quick glance reveals the founder members of the NHC to be the benevolent and world-hugging trio of Coca-Cola, NestlÃ© and (ooo)Danone. Could it be that the Natural Hydration Council is in fact just the ring piece of the desperate, global-recession-hit bottled water industry? Is there any chance they have clubbed together and paid a PR company to mash up a series of googled facts about water and cynically apply them to bottled water? Maybe these ‘facts’ are so strained, patronising and over-simplified that they are insulting to anyone a fraction more evolved than a half-wit? Below is a summary, you decide.
It seems bottled water is helping to beat the obesity epidemic: ‘Governments all over the world are encouraging consumers to drink more water and less high calorie drinks in an effort to curb the relentless rise in obesity levels.’
Is great for the environment: ‘Plastic bottles: a recycling success story. Plastic recycling reduces both waste and energy consumption. In 2007, 35% of plastic bottles were recycled – a 68% increase on the previous year – and this rate is predicted to increase to 50% in 2008.’
Has a small carbon footprint: ‘Global warming is a serious threat to life on Earth. The science is no longer disputed. The bottled water industry recognises its contribution, and has taken many actions to reduce its impact even further.’
Is super efficient: ‘Natural bottled water is the most efficient packaged beverage when it comes to water efficiency, as so little water is used in its production.’
Saves lives: ‘In July 2007, Gloucestershire experienced the worst floods on record. Bottled water came to the rescue again after drinking water supplies had become contaminated. Bottled water emergency relief is only possible where there is a thriving bottled water industry, with enough capacity in the system to be able to handle the massive demands made of it during the relief effort.’
… and so on.
In fact the content of this website is so self-serving and specious that were it to give away gold embossed PhDs in ‘Natural Hydration & Applied Waterology’, even Gillian McKeith would hesitate momentarily before snatching it with a cadaverous claw and clasping it to her shrivelled witchy bosom.
Here’s a fact: The average cost of bottled water is 95p per litre. The average cost of tap water is Â£1 per 1,000 litres. Sometimes the two are the same.
Here are some more facts.