Date of Award



Edward Van Buren


Americans take water for granted on a daily basis when they can go to the vending machine or grocery store and pick up a cold bottle of water to enjoy. What people do not normally consider is where this water comes from or what chemicals are used to make the plastic bottle. Some may believe that they are doing something noteworthy when choosing a brand like Poland Spring that boasts “30% less plastic” used in their product, along with choosing a brand that uses smaller labels to save paper. The Poland Spring website claims that they are “drop by drop…one of the most efficient users of water among the US beverage industry” and the interesting word choice here is “users.” Some critics of the bottling industry question whether the large companies are just “using” water or exploiting the natural resources and ruining business relations within the small town water sources. Water snobs also mention a different aftertaste in tap water from the purification by chlorination, but can one really tell the difference in a blind taste test? The water companies also disregard reusable options, such as Nalgene bottles that are useful for an on‐the-­go lifestyle instead of plastic that is recyclable but not always recycled.