A statement was issued by the Bottled Water Information Office to say it is an environmentally friendly industry following the news that the City of New York is running a campaign to encourage people to ditch bottled water and drink tap water instead to protect the environment.
The BWIO said: “The very foundation of the industry is the protection of a precious natural resource and its use in a sustainable manner, and that ethos is applied in every aspect of the work of the industry.
“Bottled water is most commonly packaged in either plastic (PET) or glass, which is totally safe and conforms to strict regulations on health and safety. By far the majority of bottled water (93 per cent) comes in plastic bottles which is totally recyclable. Bottles also carry messages urging the purchaser to recycle after use. The rest (around 7 per cent) comes in glass bottles, which can also be placed for recycling.”
According to environmental groups, four out of five plastic water bottles end up on landfill sites and the production process contributes to global warming, but figures released by RECOUP show that 727 million plastic bottles were recycled in 2004.
The BWIO also says the industry “continues to make inroads into packaging technology” and that some producers were considering the use of biodegradable plastic.