Restrictions should be put on bottled water advertising and a 10p tax should be added to shrink-wrapped packs to curb the UK’s 10m bottle-a-day habit, according to campaigners hoping to tackle the plastic pollution crisis.

In a policy paper produced by the consultancy Retail Economics, Brita said market sales of bottled water had grown to 2.5 billion litres a year and forecasted further growth of more than 11% by 2026.

The report, commissioned by campaigners – including the groups Refill and Whale and Dolphin Conservation as well as the filter firm Brita – argued that brand advertising played a “critical” role in burnishing the “desirability” of bottled water.

The report calls for greater regulation of the bottled water industry, charges on multi-pack plastic wrap and a review of regulation into environmental claims.

The report noted that growth had been enabled by “tactical advertising and marketing strategies”, despite the UK having some of the best quality drinking water in the world.

“We believe Government action is warranted regarding the labelling of bottled water and its advertising practices, and that regulators should be reviewing the relevant activities of the bottled water industry as a matter of priority,” the paper says.

The story is covered in the Guardian.

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