I’ve always had a problem paying for bottled water, especially when the standards for tap water in the United States are so high (and the benefits of bottled water, other than its portability, are truly questionable). So the other day while doing a little asset inspection in Florida (i.e., walking roofs), one of the real estate brokers assisting us stops by with some bottled water. Dasani, manufactured by Coca Cola, to be specific.
So I’m drinking the water, fine, no problem, I’m thirsty, it’s doing the job…and then I notice a little blurb on the side of the bottle:
DASANI is filtered for purity, using state of the art treatment by reverse osmosis, and enhanced with minerals for a pure, fresh taste. DASANI is water – pure and essential.
Now I guess I’m just slow, but this is the first time I’d realized that some of this expensive* bottled water doesn’t actually come from springs. It’s treated tap water! On top of this, they add minerals to flavor it – to artificially make it taste more like real mineral water. Then, to make matters worse, they add SALT! Leave it to Coke to turn something as pure as water into what is essentially a “soft drink”. It’s no wonder that they feel the need to reassure you of the “water-ness” of their product: “DASANI is water – pure and essential.”
Combine all of these concerns with the added externality that one creates as a consumer of this product – waste plastic. Hopefully most of these bottles get recycled. My guess is that a significant number of them end up in landfills.
Ah, the commoditization of the gifts of the earth – thank you Coke, and the rest of the bottled water industry for taking something natural and adding a layer of marketing (and plastic) to it.
(* NOTE: I say expensive because most people already pay for tap water from their municipality…so all bottled water is expensive because you’re paying again for something you already have.)