(Sept. 5, 2008) — I thank Kim Jeffery for all his company is doing now to recover bottles for reuse and recycling [“Nestle exec counsels bottled-water industry,” July 7, Page 1]. I would like to address the fact that his business is based on laziness of the U.S. citizen. Before PET bottles, we drank from water fountains found in every gas station and public building. We did not need water in 20-ounce bottles.
Soda pop companies began bottling sugar water because the drug stores had fountain service. The companies expanded that market to a mobile consumer and to his home. That is all a luxury, my good man.
Water bottled in PET is a luxury, too. Citizens are looking at their pocket books and starting to realize that they need to cut wasteful habits. Municipalities have taken a stance against bottled water because they have free water to offer, and they want to push conservation.
Mr. Jeffery wants to continue to profit from the laziness of the U.S. citizen. Is this not the simple truth? We can live without them. Water is the basis of life and it is available without using bottles.
Detroit made big cars and SUVs and pickups because buyers let their egos do the buying, not logic and reason. Detroit is now seeing the quick consequences, and car companies are not prepared for the change. Ditto for the water-bottle folks.
Bottling companies are to blame for low recycling rates. They have fought deposit programs for all these years. They did not have the foresight to back them years ago.
Now they will lose sales simply because folks will return to the old-fashioned ways and conservative habits, and drink water from public sources.
Our country is in a crisis. Conservation is one important tool to help us through. Bottlers need to address more than their selfish needs. They contribute an unneeded carbon footprint.
The U.S. standard of living is declining yearly. This will continue for the next 40 years. Expect to see “conservation of energy” or “being green” as the business model of success.
Suggested reading: The Party's Over: Oil, War and the Fate of Industrial Societies by Richard Heinberg. History shows that at the sunset of an energy source there has been social upheaval and values changed. Don't complain if your business fails. You failed to see the cheese has moved. Consumerism in the USA is being replaced with conservative habits and the realization that less is more over time. Live long and prosper.
Agency Fibers Ltd.