The image of water created by the bottled water industry has seduced even the most rational person. The title for this post comes from the Environmental Protection Authority – Victoria website, in support of La Trobe University’s Ban the Bottle 2011 day.
The literature on the externalties and multiplier effects of bottled water are well documented, Annie Leonard provides a concise animated presentation of The Story of Bottled Water (see below), part of the series The Story of Stuff mentioned in an earlier post.
In Australia our mismanagement of water can be easily addressed at the grassroots level. Why do convenience stores, cafes and supermarkets stock numerous brands of bottled water? They are catering to demand and the registered needs of individuals and the community, if you’re trying to decide between $2.50 for the Mount Franklin or $3.50 for Pump Water you are obviously habitually dependent on purchasing your needs. Bottled water is a natural resource that has been commodified. The process of commodification is one of displacement of energy and resources, the unnecessary removal of this natural resource from ecological processes and the additional waste produced by the discarded plastic bottle is adding to the our legacy to be known by the historians of the future as the Junk Civilisation.