Filthy Water

What do you think is the biggest selling soft drink in the world? Coke? Sprite? Red Bull?…Irn Bru?

No, no and no. You’re not even close.

It’s bottled water, and it’s bigger than all of those combined. Bottled or packaged water has recently overtaken fizzy drinks as the world’s best-selling soft drink. Crazy.

The average person in the UK drinks as much packaged water as they do milk, around 30 litres per year, that may not sound much but for the whole country it adds up to around 2 billion litres every year and it’s growing. Over a quarter of all the bottled water being drunk in the UK is imported from abroad – in 2014 the imported water alone could have filled more than 200 Olympic-sized swimming pools, well over 500 million litres!

God help you if you bring me imported water at a restaurant – just ask the waiter in a restaurant in Peru who got a face-melting rant from me while proudly pouring San Pellegrino into my glass…!

Some ‘filthy water mile’ facts and some ridiculous price tags to fuel my anti imported water rants:

  1. Fiji, the UK’s 2nd Premium Water, travels 10,000 miles to land on our supermarket shelves. 10,000 miles?! For still water!
  2. “The World’s First Luxury Water Brand” – Bling H2O – comes in at $40 a bottle. The bottle is covered in Swarovski crystal, and is shipped 4,200 miles to adorn celebrity dressing rooms.
  3. If $40 a bottle sounds a little too affordable for you, why not shell out £275/500ml on Kona Nigari to experience “deep hydration from the sea”, fresh from the coast of Hawaii. Hmmm, salty seawater.
  4. And finally, I had a good laugh reading up on “Acqua Di Cristallo Tributo a Modigliani”, how about $60,000 a bottle? No house deposit, just a bit of hydration. The water is a mix of natural spring water from Fiji, oh and France, contains actual glacier water from Iceland AND each bottle also has 5mg of sprinkled 23-karat gold dust. Snazzy. Side fact, it’s made by Paolo di Verachi, Guinness world record holder of the ‘World’s Most Expensive Tequila and Cognac Bottles.’ A watery ornament then.

It’s easy to get irritated, and for me downright raging about this, but getting annoyed won’t stop millions of people from buying and drinking bottled water. So, what should we be drinking if we’re not millionaires, or if we’re out for dinner or a date and tap just isn’t quite right.

The lovely team at One Water showed me that buying bottled water can actually do some good. How? One is a life-changing bottled water brand, their tagline is When you drink One, the world drinks too”

The One Brand 1[1]

One’s profits fund sustainable water projects for some of the world’s most vulnerable people. One Water has raised over £14 million for water projects to provide clean, safe water to over 3 million people in the world’s poorest communities. Their aim is to raise £20 million by 2020.

Just by changing the brand of bottled, juiced or flavoured water that you buy, you can help to improve lives on the other side of the world. It’s that simple. Hawksmoor, a brand and restaurant that can do very little wrong, were pioneers of getting One into the restaurant trade with a beautiful bespoke bottle design for their restaurants. Well done them.

Failing that, you could follow Anna Hart’s new year resolution to give up bottled water for a year without buying or drinking it, but I fear this may not be for the disorganised, habitually late Londoners that so many of us are.

So when you need some hydration, if you can, go for a brand that might just help others too.

By Lucy Davidson

Cover image credit: luxury



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