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Food Facts


The “Food Facts” publications are a series of short reports on over a dozen different products, that show how people’s shopping choices – as well as government policy – can protect the environment, enhance social justice and improve health. For a full list of titles, please see the left-hand menu.

The taps are turning - Are we ending our love affair with bottled water?

The taps are turningIn December 2006, Sustain produced a report called 'Have you bottled it?' which aimed to raise awareness about how bottled water provides no health benefits over tap water and also about the detrimental effects that it has on the environment and also our wallets.  We concluded that:

  • tap water in the UK is one of the highest quality tap waters in the world;
  • tap water is great value for money, providing 50 glasses for a penny;
  • taste tests continue to show that tap water is equal to the taste of bottled water;
  • bottled water generates thousands of tonnes of plastic waste, most of which is not recycled; and
  • although most bottled water is from the UK or Europe,
    • some continues to be shipped thousands of miles, 
    • all of it uses dwindling energy supplies8 - in production, transport, refrigeration and so on - contributing to greenhouse gas emissions, and
    • it is estimated that two gallons of water are used, for every gallon of water purified to put into the bottle.     

The taps are turning is designed to be a companion to 'Have you Bottled It?' so it does not repeat all the arguments in favour of tap water.  Instead it notes international and domestic developments on the consumption of bottled water in both the private and public sectors.  We hope that this report will contribute to the growing movement to replace bottled water consumption with tap water in the UK and internationally, for the good of our health and the environment.

 Download 'The taps are turning' and other titles from the Food Facts series

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Sustain advocates food and agriculture policies and practices that enhance the health and welfare of people and animals, improve the working and living environment, promote equity and enrich society and culture.

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