Bottled Water Sales Head Down the Drain Environmentalists claim credit; industry blames economy By Kevin Spak, Newser Staff Posted Dec 18, 2009 12:05 PM CST 23 comments Comments In this April 26, 2009 file photo, PepsiCo delivery man Nick Jones unloads Aquafina water and other Pepsi products while making a delivery in Tualatin, Ore. (AP Photo/Don Ryan, file) (Newser) – Bottled water sales are sinking, and environmentalists point triumphantly to their hard-fought campaign against the wasteful industry. Consumption is expected to drop 2% this year, following a 3.2% drop last year, MSNBC reports. But industry executives say it’s just a natural result of the economic downturn, noting that sales of soda and other drinks have seen even worse declines. “We don’t think that anti-bottle water activists have had any impact,” said a spokesman for an industry group. “People love their bottled water.” But the backlash has had a noticeable effect, with many high-end restaurants switching back to tap water. New York, Illinois, and Virginia all forbid bottled water at public events, and Google and Cisco have ousted it from their offices. “Bottled water has become the SUV of the ecological movement,” says one activist.