Increase in consumer demand for bottled water as a healthy alternative to other packaged beverages | Nation/World

Alexandria, Virginia, May 31, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — America’s favorite packaged beverage – bottled water – made history in 2021 by becoming the largest beverage category ever (by volume) , according to new data from the Beverage Marketing Corporation (BMC) received by the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA).

The total volume of bottled water in 2021, 15.7 billion gallons, surpassed the all-time high for carbonated soft drinks of 15.3 billion gallons, which was reached in 2004.

For more than a decade, consumers have increasingly chosen bottled water over less healthy packaged beverages. Bottled water topped soft drink sales for the first time in 2016, and has done so every year since. This impressive consumer shift highlights consumers’ preference for healthy hydration.
Americans consumed 15.7 billion gallons of bottled water in 2021, up 4.7% from the previous year. This means that, on average, each American drank 47 gallons of bottled water in 2021, a 3.9% increase from the previous year. Additionally, retail bottled water sales grew in 2021, up 11.2% to $40.2 billion, according to BMC data.

Much of the growth in bottled water (30% since 2012) is due to people switching to bottled water from other less healthy packaged beverages. And nine in ten Americans (91%) want bottled water to be available wherever other beverages are sold, according to a survey conducted on behalf of the IBWA by The Harris Poll.

This shift in healthy consumption from sugary drinks to bottled water could also work in reverse. If bottled water is not available, 74% of people say they will turn to other packaged beverages, not tap water, according to The Harris Poll.

According to BMC President and CEO Michael C. Bellas, “The upward movement in per capita consumption indicates a clear and persistent demand for a product that consumers view as a healthy alternative to other beverages.”

“Multiple inherent qualities explain bottled water’s continued appeal to American consumers, including its association with healthiness, convenience, safety and value.”

“The lack of calories and artificial ingredients in bottled water appeals to many consumers,” says Bellas. “Bottled water has achieved its position at the top of beverage rankings by driving consumers away from other packaged beverages. Some consumers may have ditched regular, high-calorie beverages in favor of their diet versions, but many others opted for bottled water instead.While some consumers were wary of artificial sweeteners, they moved away from diet drinks as well as their regular counterparts.

“People are choosing to drink fewer calories and making this healthy choice of bottled water has the added benefit of helping the environment. Not only are bottled water containers 100% recyclable (including the cap) , but they also use far less plastic than sodas and other packaged beverages,” says Jill Culora, vice president of communications for IBWA.

Soda containers use an average of 188% more PET plastic than bottled water containers (23.9 grams versus 8.3 grams for 16.9-ounce containers). Soft drinks and other sugary drinks require thicker plastic containers due to their carbonation and/or bottling processes.

Even with continued growth and increased consumption, bottled water still has the smallest water and energy consumption footprint of all packaged beverages. On average, only 1.39 liters of water (including the 1 liter of water consumed) and 0.21 megajoules of energy are used to produce 1 liter of finished bottled water.

Most bottled water is packaged in 100% recyclable PET #1 and HDPE #2 plastic, which are the plastics most recognized by consumers as recyclable and the most recycled plastics in the world. This means that consumers need not be confused about recycling bottled water containers, as they are one of the few types of universally recyclable consumer packaging in the United States. Not all cities and towns recycle glass bottles and laminated paper cartons, which are most often made up of multiple layers of paper, plastic, and foil or wax.

The recyclable plastic used to make bottled water containers – PET, HDPE and polycarbonate (PC) – represents a very small portion of the average plastic currently used by consumers. According to a study on Science.org (https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/sciadv.abd0288), the average American generates 130.1 kilograms of plastic waste each year. Of this amount, bottled water packaging represents only 1.9% (2.47 kg). And that 1.9% is 100% recyclable plastic, unlike other common plastic consumer products that are not recyclable: for example, plastic packaging for the kitchen, the outer packaging of most consumer goods, grocery bags, collapsible food containers, garment bags, snack bags. , plastic cups, straws, utensils and most take-out containers). All of these non-recyclable plastics have a much greater negative impact on the environment.

The recyclability of bottled water sets it apart from other common plastic products that are truly “single-use”, such as non-recyclable plastic items (eg, straws, cutlery and plates); food and merchandise packaging (eg, films, heat-sealed bags and multi-layer laminates) and containers (eg, non-PET, HDPE and PC bottles and jars). In addition, PET plastic bottled water containers are the most recognized by consumers as being recyclable and this is probably the reason why they are the most recycled containers in curbside recycling programs in the United States. PET plastic water bottles are a valuable resource as they can be recycled and reused over and over again.

If people want to reduce their plastic footprint, they can:

Of all the items that are placed in recycling bins or taken to drop-off centers, an estimated 99% of all PET plastic bottles are recycled. The reason for this is that post-consumer PET and HDPE plastic is in high demand by industries as they want to use this recycled plastic to make more products. Many bottled water companies use recycled PET and HDPE plastic to create new bottles, reducing the need for virgin plastic.

We know that bottled water drinkers recycle more often than drinkers of other beverages. Of all PET containers recycled through curbside collection systems, bottled water containers account for approximately 52%. Empty bottled water containers should always be returned or placed in a recycling bin, but when they are not, they represent 3.3% of all beverage packaging that ends up in landfills and only 0, 02% of landfill waste.

Additionally, plastic containers for food and drink (including bottled water) do not contribute significantly to ocean litter. Oxford University’s Our World in Data website reports that of all plastic waste in the ocean, only 0.95% comes from Central and North America. The Oxford website states: “If we are aiming to solve the problem of plastic in the oceans, it is important to understand this big picture. . . While countries in North America and Europe generate significant amounts of plastic waste (especially per capita), well-managed waste streams mean that very little of this waste is at risk of polluting the oceans. In fact, if North America and Europe completely eliminated the use of plastic, mismanaged plastic worldwide would decrease by less than 5%.

“Consumer preference for healthy hydration and bottled water is very good news for public health,” says Culora. “This is especially important as the country continues to experience high rates of obesity, diabetes and heart disease.”

“The bottled water industry is committed to helping people make healthier choices,” Culora says. “The demand for safe, healthy and convenient water is evident as bottled water continues to be America’s most popular packaged beverage, by volume.”

Whether you are at home, in the office or on the go, IBWA encourages all consumers to make healthy hydration part of their lifestyle and to choose bottled water as their beverage of choice and to always recycle their empty containers, with the caps.

For more information on bottled water, visit the IBWA website: www.bottledwater.org.

The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) is the authoritative source of information on all types of bottled waters, including spring, mineral, purified, artesian and sparkling waters. Founded in 1958, the IBWA’s membership includes US and international bottlers, distributors and suppliers. The IBWA is committed to working with the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which regulates bottled water as a packaged food product, to establish comprehensive and stringent standards for water products. bottled safe and of high quality.

In addition to FDA regulations, IBWA member bottlers must adhere to the IBWA Bottled Water Code of Practice, which imposes additional standards and practices that, in some cases, are more stringent than federal and state regulations. A key feature of the IBWA Bottled Water Code of Practice is a mandatory annual factory inspection by an independent third-party body.

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Jill Culora International Bottled Water Association 7036474609 [email protected]

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