Our sister newspaper Advertising Age weighs in on "the backlash against plastic bottles" with a Page 1 story in today's edition, "Nestle, Pepsi and Coke Face Their Waterloo." The "Waterloo," according to the story, is a slowing market for bottled water (growth of only 9 percent this year, compared to 16 percent in 2006). Consumers, according to the story, are participating in a growing environmental backlash against plastic containers. As proof, the report cites moves to discourage bottled water purchases by the cities of New York and San Francisco, as well as a large numbers of Google hits for searches like "stop using plastic water bottles" and "bottled-water waste."
"This could be pretty significant," said Joe Pawlak, VP of restaurant consultant Technomic. "People are being more socially conscious, whether it's global warming, sustainability or landfills. I think it's an offshoot of the boomers wanting to leave a positive legacy."The story covers alternatives to PET bottles, including $20 refillable aluminum containers, and $10 polycarbonate bottles. It also cites efforts to make PET bottles lighter, and to incorporate recycled content into the containers. There's nothing really new here. Rather, it looks like a story that's trying to tie together a variety of recent developments and give readers a big picture look at the issue. Still, it's interesting to see what Ad Age thinks marketing professionals need to know about the bottle issue. And the fact that the newspaper put the story on Page 1 shows that the editors there consider it a major story.