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Story of bottled water: it's always been an idea for all the money

The idea of ​​selling really bottled water is not the latest. At least a thousand years have passed since the caste of the first street vendors who sold the refreshing liquid in the pig hogs, reclassified them to water dispensers dispensed, adequately packed. It was not mostly water. It came from a variety of wells and springs, connected with saints and holy revelations.

In 1621, for example, the popular glass flasks with water from the Holy Well in Mavern Hills, Lurd, in the UK, did not differ in the legendary stories of the Czech sources. Even then, by the way, it was true that the quality of this first bottled water was not at the level and by far it did not always come from the label of the dedicated resource. But having water, which is different, better, healthier and more magical than anything, is at least somewhat appealing. And from a commercial point of view, the sale of such water was a gold mine. Actually it is still today.

As time went on, water began to be "magical" replaced by mineral water. Its sale and distribution could provide beneficial curative effects even to those who could not afford to stay in contemporary spas. In the United States, the first commercial sale of spa mineral water was launched in 1767. Boston bottling and bottling businesses, which made money from Jackson Spa's wealth, but attracted other businesspeople. Especially those who did not have the right mineral water. Their prayers were heard in 1809 when Joseph Hawkins was able to enrich the normal water with carbon dioxide - and the first soda was created. Certainly, Joseph Priestley and Jacob Schweppes had come up with a similar idea, but Hawkins could better sell it. Why? Its imitation of classical mineral water has become a complete blockbuster thanks to thoughtful advertising. All you have to do is invest a couple of dollars in an ad in the local press (ideally right next to the paid news that the local wells are infected with typhus) and it was done.

Industrial businesses managed to produce carbonated water bubbles after hectoliters, and by the end of the nineteenth century, the most famous producer of "genuine American" bottled water, Saratoga Springs, dialed 7 million bottles a year. This is one bottle of ten people in the States, and by far not all have just drank the mineral from this manufacturer. And in Europe? There the market dominated "50 million bubbles in each bottle, can you calculate them?" Perrier, Évian and San Pellegrino in Italy. As for the Czech and Slovak minerals (from Bílinská kyselka through Mattoni to Ida or Vincentka), they must be left to the fact that they at least originated from a "natural" source and therefore their production was far from reaching such a massive volume.

Basically, however, there was still water everywhere in the glass, so easily recyclable bottles. The real problem occurred in 1973, when engineer Nathaniel Wyeth, working at DuPont, came up with a brilliant idea to fill soda bottles made of polyethylene terephthalate, or PET.

It was an idea not a million, but billions, maybe even trillions. And we pay for it today. Easy production, low cost, uncomplicated shipping, stunning packaging durability. PET bottles as a hot and very profitable novelty flooded the market first and later our landfills and sea. Artesian water, spring, bottled, carbonated or mineral, flavored. Juice or other refreshing drink? All of this is now available in plastic. What is the fact that in most countries of the world, which we call euphemistically advanced, drinking water from the water main is commonly available. A lot of people would rather have a hand cut than they would have tapped themselves from the tap. The global turnover of bottled water sales today is worth $ 100 billion . The question then arises as to why people who have the option of taking water from the water supply (which they are already paying) prefer to buy bottled water. Most "popular" rationals lie on both legs. Which are they?

Drinking bottled water is safer

It's true in a way. Especially if you went to somewhere in an exotic land where the mouth of the bottle of bottled water is usually a reassuring sign that this time you get diarrhea from something other than water. But in advanced Western countries? While most bottled water plants undergo rigorous testing and testing, but not in such a regular rhythm as drinking water from the water line. There the contamination tests are done on a daily basis. The bottled water does not necessarily need to be safer, or drinking water from the tap is safer.

You save with bottled water

It's exactly the opposite. If we mix the bottled water of different brands and prices into one bucket, the liter of this fluid will have an average price of 7.50 CZK. Water and sewerage in Prague, though, is not the cheapest in the Czech Republic, but one liter of the right "rooster" comes to CZK 0.085, including 15% VAT. In other European countries it is similar and the price of bottled water is still 200x to 300x lower than the price of water packaged . You pay 35 crowns per seventh of Perrier mineral water. It may be better for two or even a cup of coffee, right?

Bottled water is different

Well, against taste ... about 30% of Europe's bottled water is tapped from the tap . And this number may actually be even higher, even in the States up to 50%, because they do not need to boast of the production companies of refreshing drinks. In 2007, Pepsi and Nestlé had to admit this fact too bad for business. The colorful labels of their design Aquafina and PureLife bottled water did not really reflect this fact. So maybe you drink water packed but you have half the chance that it's actually the same drinking water that lurks somewhere in your tap water .

Packaged just tastes better!

The fact that the packaging sells applies to bottled water at one hundred percent. But when you pour the bottled water into the glass and put the same glass of water at your side beside her? A similar experiment was tested at the University of Boston in 2011 and has since been repeated. With the same result. In a blind test, when the experimental subject does not know what water it is drinking, the vast majority of people are not able to discern the slightest difference. The experiment is also easy to manipulate: if, for example, the normal tap temperature is one step lower than the water packaged, the test subjects with the preference of PET bottles prefer to choose the cooler one and mark it as packaged.

Water like water, right?

In fact, it's not that easy. Already in 2013, in a comprehensive report by the International Bottled Water Association, it has admitted that you actually use 1.39 liters of water to produce one liter of bottled water. As? Process failures, leaks, waste, bottling. For each PET bottle of bottled water , also count the consumption of other fluid, oil. In 2007 only 40 million barrels of oil were consumed in the US, which served to produce plastic packaging.

After all, bottles of recycled water can be recycled, right?

Sure. And we can also fly to the Moon, and we know that we should not speak rudely. But the fact that we do or do know something does not necessarily mean that we really do it. Of every six PET bottles of bottled water, it only one after emptying it to the recycled waste bin. And every sixth to seventh of them will go through recycling to become a PET bottle again.

Author: Radomír Dohnal

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