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Bottled Water Debate Splashes Congress

Critics Tell Lawmakers Bottled Water Hurts Environment; Industry Says Consumers Deserve Choices

Perspective of Bottled Water Industry

Joseph Doss, who heads the International Bottled Water Association, says his industry is stepping up efforts to encourage plastics recycling and to make bottle production more fuel efficient. Water bottles account for 0.3% of all solid waste produced in the U.S., according to the industry.

"Any actions that would discourage consumers from drinking this safe, healthy beverage are not in the public interest," he says.

Americans spend about $11 billion per year on bottled water, according to the Beverage Marketing Corp. In the process they help generate 2.7 million tons of plastic bottles. Those bottles are produced and transported using petroleum, and most wind up in landfills, Wu says.

Doss says bottled water is already closely regulated as a food product by the FDA.

"I guess it comes down to choice, and consumers have a choice," he says.

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