Tuesday, 5 March 2013

More Water

Back in the 1970s I was discussing the viability of selling bottled water in Britain with the MD af a major soft drinks company. He was considering launching a brand of bottled water imported from France. Despite my pointing out that the packaging and transport costs would exceed the cost of the water he still went ahead.  I guess that is why I never made MD. Over roughly the same period that the London Marathon has been run - 1993-2011 - the UK bottled water market (including water coolers), grew from 580 million litres to almost 2.1 billion litres and in 2011 was worth £1.5 billion.  Sales in this country of locally-produced waters continue to account for more than 75% of bottled water drunk here. As a nation we now drink more bottled water than fruit juices/nectars, wine or spirits. (But not beer!)
According to  the British Bottled Water Producers  this  "is testament, perhaps, to the now ubiquitous acceptance of the advice to drink eight glasses of water a day for optimum health". See  my post Drinking Water  for comments on statements of that nature .
UK bottled water consumption per person in the  last decade has increased from 26.9 litres in 2001 to 34 litres in 2011.  Italy, however, is still top of the charts with an average per capita consumption of  155 litres.
Sales of still water out-strip sparkling water at an increasing rate, In 1998 sparkling water accounted for 30% of the bottled water market: twenty years later that share had fallen to 15%
More pub quiz facts for you:

  • In the UK we drink five times as much tea as bottled water and almost three times as much beer as bottled water: but the gap is narrowing  on both these beverages.
  • UK bottled water exports amounted to 64 million litres in 2011 – a slight increase compared with the previous year.

  • The Univesity of Nottingham Environmental Technology Centre has compiled a long list of reasons for not drinking bottled water. Here are a few of them:
    -Typically bottled water retails at up to 500 times more than the price of tap water
    - The majority of bottled water is sold in PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles. All PET bottles can be recycled. However in 2007 it is estimated that  of the 13bn plastic bottles of water that were sold in the UK, only 3bn were recycled.
    - Most plastic bottles for bottled water are produced using a virgin petroleum feedstock. It takes 162g of oil and seven litres of water to manufacture a single one litre volume disposable PET bottle.

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