Cash-Strapped Drinkers Spurn Bottled Water

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 13, 2009 12:39 PM CDT
A water delivery in Tualatin, Ore.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – A combination of penny-pinching and environmental concern has pushed bottled water sales off for the first time in at least 5 years, the Washington Post reports. In 2008, consumption of bottled water fell for the first time this decade. “It's an obvious way to cut back,” a researcher says. “People might still be buying bottled water, but you can bet that they're refilling those bottles.”

Heat from environmentalists over landfills brimming with discarded bottles—86% of empties never see a recycling can—apparently also contributed to the falloff. In addition, producing a year’s worth of bottles takes enough oil to power 1 million cars. “I thought we'd never be able to impact sales of bottled water, and all of a sudden it's really gained momentum,” says the leader of one group. “I think we're making real progress.”