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Bottled water myths and facts

May 23, 2017
By Elizabeth Griswold Canadian Bottled Water Association

More than three quarters of Ontarians purchased or consumed bottled water in the past 12 months, according to In a poll conducted by the CBWA.

Toronto – In the interests of setting the record straight on issues surrounding bottled water, Elizabeth Griswold, executive director of the Canadian Bottled Water Association and secretary general of the International Council of Bottled Water Associations, shares common myths and misconceptions about the bottled water industry – and some often overlooked facts.

Myth: Bottled water poses a threat to the environment and people should stop drinking bottled water altogether.
Fact: The facts tell a different story. First, bottled water companies have commercial imperatives to ensure that our water supply remains sustainable, so that they can remain in business. We understand as well as anyone that excessive water taking could have a negative environmental impact, and we share that concern. 
Second, the CBWA and its members are fully committed to recycling. In fact, one of our member companies – Ice River Springs – owns and operates a PET plastic recycling plant that turns old water bottles into new water bottles. With its recycling plant in Shelburne, Ont., and bottling facility in Feversham, it recycles 85 per cent of all the Ontario Blue Box PET plastics. Not only that, but in the town of Feversham, population 300, Ice River employs 125 people. 

Myth: Bottled water companies buy ground water.
Fact: Bottled water companies don’t “buy” ground water from the provincial government for $3.71, $500 or any other amount. Companies acquire land and extract ground water that would not otherwise be readily available to the public from their land. They package it and bring it to market. The dollar amounts are permit fees to take the water that allow the province to manage ground water resources, nothing more. The product we produce is the cheapest and healthiest beverage you can buy.

Myth: There is a shortage of ground water in Ontario.
Fact: Bottled water companies take 0.2 per cent of all water takings permitted by the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC), so if there were a legitimate concern about drought, climate change and potential stresses to ground water sources, the MOECC would review all commercial water takers – not just the bottled water industry.


Myth: Bottled water has replaced tap water.
Fact: Yes – bottled water is a popular and affordable bottled beverage. In a poll the CBWA conducted recently, more than three quarters of Ontarians purchased or consumed bottled water in the past 12 months. But more than three quarters of those polled also said they primarily drink tap water at home. And just over half said they drink bottled water over tap water outside of the home.

For more information, visit the Canadian Bottled Water Association.