The Confusing State of the Bottled Water Debate

The Confusing State of the Bottled Water Debate

Recently, the town of Concord Massachusetts banned the sale of single serving bottled water within the limits of the municipality.  A Massachusetts senator has taken things a step farther by suggesting bottled water sales be banned in the state unless there are some changes to the state's bottle bill.  A number of college campuses have also banned the sale of bottled water.  Despite all of this, bottled water sales in the United States continues to rise.

The battle over bottled water seems to stem mostly from environmental issues and the fact that water is a beverage that is available to most Americans from the tap.  However, supporters of bottled water note that many municipal water sources may not be as healthy as people think, an issue that may also have been compounded by the surge of bottled water in the last few decades.  Supporters also argue that the actual waste created by water bottles is less than one tenth of the total waste in the United States.

As a manufacturer of packaging machinery, we like to keep a close eye on issues such as the bottled water ban.  Whether the logic behind the bans is solid or not, packagers are likely to give consumers what they want.  Apparently, consumers still overwhelmingly want bottled water, so the packagers turn to new and innovative packages.  While the producers of bottles work to make a more acceptable alternative with a lower carbon footprint, the leading contender for the replacement of water bottles seems to be the pouch.  While pouches may still use PET and other plastics, the footprint is greatly reduced when compared to bottled water.  Some suggest that the use of the pouch could reduce the need for PET materials by as much as two thirds.  

When packagers decide to use a new type of package, or are persuaded by the public to use a new type of package, there is a ripple effect through the packaging industry.  As manufacturers, we may find ourselves looking for new ways to fill, cap and label product.  In keeping with the current trends, we may also look to improve the efficiency and decrease the waste of the packaging machinery.  Filling machines and capping machines may be modified to handle pouches.  Conveyor systems may need to be tweaked to move bags rather than the more stabile bottle.  Labeling machines on packaging lines may start to fade away as pouches come pre-labeled.

While the bottled water debate may seem like a surface debate about the environmental effects of the plastic bottle, it can have far reaching effects.  These effects, while not obvious or overt, may still garner more positive results than at first expected.

Whether packaging bottled water, foods and other beverages, cosmetics, oils or any other product, the experienced crew at Liquid Packaging Solutions can help you choose the packaging equipment to best suit your project.  Whether you are in need of a single machine like an overflow filler, spindle capper or simple conveyor, or are looking to add a complete packaging system to your production floor, call a packaging specialist toll free today at 1-888-393-3693.