Today’s post is my little way of taking part in Blog Action Day 2010, a yearly event which takes a subject of world importance and attempts to catch people’s attention by asking bloggers to write a piece on that subject. This year the chosen topic is water, so here goes…
In the mid to late Seventies, bottled water started to appear on shop shelves. Brands such as Perrier and Evian were sold on the premise of them being of a much higher quality, and therefore better for you, than plain old tap water.
Another difference was that it was also available in carbonated form, so you could still enjoy a fizzy drink with your meal, but without all that extra sugar and flavourings.
Whilst most normal people initially scoffed at the idea of paying for water when it was effectively free when you turned on a tap, by the time the Eighties rolled around drink bottled water was becoming the trendy thing to do. People also started to become far more health conscious and sales of bottled water started to rise, with more and more brands joining the market.
The growth of the bottle water market has now reached the point where the global value of the bottled water market is said to be approaching an incredible $86,000,000,000! This huge amount of money is quite frightening, particularly when you consider that the vast majority of the total can be attributed to sales in countries where most people have access to perfectly adequate tap water.
The health benefits of bottled water have also been brought into question in more recent times. There have been instances of contamination at the bottling sources, although these are few and far between. Whilst many brands are naturally occuring, pure spring water, there have been a great many waters which actually start off life as regular tap water before being placed through further filtration systems before bottling. Probably the biggest health scare currently is the possibility of chemicals from the plastic bottles leaching into the water itself.
With such a huge amount of money going into this market, perhaps it would be nice if some of the bottled water companies pledged some support to helping the estimated 884 million people in this world that don’t have the luxury of a clean water supply. Maybe some already do, I don’t know, but if only a small percentage of the market value were to be donated that would still amount to several thousand, million dollars of aid.