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Forbes.com has an interesting piece about how bottled water companies, faced with convincing accusations that their very existence and business plans – which depend on water being packaged in plastic and transported via vehicles that use gasoline – have a negative impact on the environment. “Ironically, bottled spring water, long marketed as having highest purity, is now the most tainted, because transportation from distant sources leaves a greater carbon footprint.,” Forbes writes.

“As a badge of health becomes a stigma of reckless consumerism, what's the bottled water industry to do?

“Many competing brands have opted for the same strategy: They are attempting to mitigate, even neutralize, the impact of their existence. For example, Naya advertises that 1% of its revenues go to protect the environment. Fiji has launched a dedicated Web site that touts a rather convoluted commitment to carbon negativity. Go to the Poland Spring site, and the first thing you see is a message not about the benefits of the product but about its new ‘Eco-Shape’ plastic bottle. Volvic has enlisted the United Nations as a guarantor for its reputation: For every liter sold, the brand pledges a donation to UNICEF to help provide 10 liters of drinking water to children in Africa.”

The irony, Forbes writes is that Coke’s Dasani water and Pepsi’s Aquafina could be best positioned to take advantage of the new environmental consciousness – they are both purified tap waters, not spring waters, and travel considerably shorter distances on the way to the store.

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