The High Cost of High Priced Bottled Water

Just read an interesting article in The New York Times Sunday Magazine “Consumed” series. Its about a new brand name mineral bottled water called Ethos. Started by two ex-MicKinsey consultants, the concept behind Ethos is to provide water to the third world by selling water at a premium price to discerning concerned first world citizens. They were bought out by Starbucks and a bottle costs $1.80 of which 5 cents goes to water projects in the underdeveloped world. The founders explain their brand objective as “about being part of the global community and making a difference and enabling those consumers who want to, quote-unquote, do more.”

The other brazen facts picked up from the article are:

> Recycling advocates contend that 90 percent of water bottles end up in landfills.

> The Earth Policy Institute recently argued that producing the bottles to meet American demand consumes 1.5 million barrels of oil a year.

> S.U.V. profits finance third-world alternative-energy projects.


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