Bottled Water

Help your Supermarket or Co-Op end the bottled water trend! The letter could be a sample of letter to submit to food coop or supermarket and the price comparison list is also a good tool. The letter resulted in a meeting with the coop board in Davis, CA and information posted at the shelves where bottled water is displayed.

FORMAL REQUEST FOR DE-EMPHASIS OF BOTTLED WATER AT DFC, AND EDUCATION ABOUT HARM CAUSED BY PROLIFERATION OF BOTTLED WATER

PROPOSED ACTION TO DE-EMPHASIZE
DFC marketing policy will include the following:
• Bottled water will not be put on sale.
• Bottled water will not be displayed in ads.
• Bottled water will not be placed on endcaps or other prominent place.

PROPOSED ACTION TO EDUCATE
• DFC will sponsor or cosponsor an event or forum on these issues.
• Space will be made on bottled water shelves for education signs or flyers.

REASON FOR PROPOSED ACTION
Bottled water has become very common lately. Its growth in the market outpacing any other drink. However, it is problematic for a number of reasons:

  1. Bottled water companies are notorious for being careless about draining aquifers that they are using. As they are not as invested as local residents, the damage that a depleted aquifer causes is not felt very strongly by them.
  2. In a sale area where much money is being spent on bottled water, wealthier residents tend to be hesitant to invest in upkeep of local wells and utilities.
  3. Profits from water sales are kept in companies, which then use those profits to undermine local, democratic control of water resources and services. Often this is carried out through deceptive campaigns made to convince local residents that the companies could provide better services than the public utilities.
  4. Bottled water is extremely expensive. Compare to our filtered water dispenser at $.32/gallon, a liter of bottled water averages $1.50/liter=> ~$6.00/gallon, a 20 fold markup. According to Marie Graham from Davis Public Utilities, well water costs less than 1/5 of a cent per gallon, making the mark up on bottled water approach 5,000 fold. See the last page for a price comparison chart.
  5. Bottled water companies market an image: that their water is cleaner and safer than tap water. According to Marie Graham, there are no safety issues with Davis water. In fact, the ‘bad’ taste from Davis water is because it’s hard: it contains the same kind of minerals that Coke puts into Dasani to give it a ‘pure’ taste. In general, many bottled waters are merely filtered tap water.
  6. The California Department of Conservation estimates put recycling rates of plastic drink bottles at less than 50%. In Davis, we may be seeing better rates. Despite this, there is some evidence that bottled water companies are racing to lower the amount of recycled material they can get away with using. In any case, we should be encouraging shoppers to reuse containers, rather than buy disposable bottles.
  7. Despite the recycling statistics, plastic production is extremely toxic and consumes a lot of petroleum.
  8. By relying on water from outside of Davis and the Putah-Cache water shed, we make ourselves vulnerable to drought if a crisis such as fuel shortage, earthquake or terrorist attack were to take place. Communities should have access to clean, healthful local water.
  9. Hormone mimicking chemicals in plastic have been found to leach into water from bottles. Water bottles which have been sitting for a long time and water bottles which have received sunlight exposure are particularly polluted.

The issues outlined above demonstrate that our request will help move the Davis Food Coop in line with our mission of building community through food and cooperative values: Concern for Community, Education, Training and Information, Autonomy and Independence, and Democratic Control.

DOCUMENTATION
Please refer to the Introduction (pg 1-7) to Inside the Bottle by Tony Clarke for an overview. More detailed documentation can be found throughout the rest of the book or by request.

NAMES OF ORGANIZATIONS SUPPORTING THE ACTION
None

NAMES OF ANY OTHER COOPS SUPPORTING THE ACTION
None

COMPLETE LIST OF PRODUCTS COVERED BY THE ACTION
All pre-bottled water products. This includes water from ½ liter to 3 gallon size. This includes ‘vitamin,’ ‘flavored,’ ‘oxygen,’ and ‘mineral’ waters.
This does not include water from the filter dispenser, or refillable bottles intended for reuse.

EXACT LIST OF PRODUCTS CARRIED AT DFC
On 5/5/05
Glaceau Vitamin Water
Glaceau Fruit Water
Glaceau Smart Water
Eva Artesan
Hawaii
Trinity
Essential
Aqua Xtra
Calistoga (.5 liter – 2.5 Gallon, and six pack)
Arrowhead (.5 liter – 2.5 Gallon, and six pack)
High Country Springs (.5 liter – 2.5 Gallon, and six pack)
Western Family 2.5 Gallon
Arrowhead Sparkling Water
Crystal Geyser Sparkling Water
Calistoga Sparkiling Water
San Faustino Sparkling Water
Crystal Geyser 1 Gallon

MEMBERS
Darius Pazirandeh
297-7042

Nancy Price
756-0726
nancytprice@juno.com

Brand Unit Size Price per unit Price Per Gallon How many gallons of Tap water equivalence
Aqua Xtra 20 ounces $1.29 $8.51 4255

Arrowhead 1 gallon $1.39 $1.39 695
Arrowhead 2.5 gallon $3.95 $1.58 790
Arrowhead 1.5 liter $1.09 ~$2.91 1455
Arrowhead 1 liter $ .89 ~$3.60 1800
Arrowhead Sparkling Water 1 quart $ .95 $3.80 1900
Calistoga 1 gallon $1.59 $1.59 795
Calistoga 1.5 liter $1.09 ~$2.91 1455
Calistoga 6 pack, .5 liter each $2.59 ~$3.45 1725
Calistoga 1 liter $ .89 ~$3.60 1800
Calistoga Sparkling Water 1 liter $1.09 ~$4.40 2200
Calistoga Sparkling Water 6 pack, 10 ounces each $3.09 $6.80 3400
Crystal Geyser 1 gallon $1.39 $1.39 695
Crystal Geyser 1.5 liter $ .85 ~$2.27 1135
Crystal Geyser 6 pack, .5 liter each $2.45 ~$3.27 1635
Crystal Geyser Sparkling Water 1.25 liter $1.05 ~$3.36 1680
Crystal Geyser Sparkling Water 4 pack, 18 ounces each $2.15 $3.94 1970
Essentia 1 liter $1.79 ~$6.80 3400
Glaceau 1.5 liter $1.99 ~$5.31 2655
Glaceau 20 ounces $1.29 $8.51 4255
Hawaii 1.5 liter $1.89 ~$5.04 2520
High Country Springs 1 gallon $1.25 $1.25 625
High Country Springs 2.5 gallon $3.29 $1.32 660
High Country Springs 1.5 liter $ .85 ~$2.27 1135
Trinity 1.5 liter $1.89 ~$5.04 2520
Trinity 1 liter $1.55 ~$6.20 3100
Western Family 1 gallon $ .89 $ .89 445
Western Family 2.5 gallon $2.55 $1.02 510
Coop “Fill your own bottle” 1 gallon $ .32 $ .32 160
Davis tap water 1 gallon ~$ .002 ~.002 1

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