Well, it finally happened. After years of tremendous marketing, bottled water is taking a hit. Drinking bottled water is being equated with smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol as an undesirable social activity. Chicago is the first major city to levy a sin tax on each bottle of water sold within city limits. Starting yesterday Chicago will charge a 5-cent tax on each bottle of water sold. Officials predict the tax will yield $10.5 million annually.
The Daily Green lists the seven sins of bottled water:
1. Plastic bottles are made from petroleum.
2. The bottles often go into the trash, rather than the recycle bin (in part because many states don’t offer five-cent deposits to encourage recycling, as they do on soda and beer cans and bottles).
3. The water is pumped far from where it is sold, creating needless pollution as trucks and barges transport it across the country or around the world.
4. Some local communities have objected to the sale of their water, arguing that the water underground or flowing from natural springs is publicly owned and should not be exploited for profit.
5. Bottled water is rarely as closely monitored as tap water.
6. Tap water in the United States, when provided by a municipal system, is the most highly monitored and safe supply in the world.
7. Some of the water sold in little plastic bottles is tap water, but it costs an awful lot more per gallon.