German mineral water that cures diseases such as gout and ailments to the stomach, bladder and kidneys.

Medicine or water? “Cures Gout, Stomach, Urine, Bladder and Kidney Ailments”, according to this German advertisement.

The origins of bottle water can be traced back to the European health spas of the 1700s, which began the practice of giving out some of their healthy waters for patrons to take with them. Following in the logic of supply and demand, the spas began to charge a fee for the pleasure of drinking their waters, creating some of the longest lasting contemporary bottled water purveyors: Evian, San Pellegrino, Perrier, and Vittel, along with several others.  These companies spawned an entire industry and by the early 20th century, Europe was exporting bottled water world-wide.

From these humble origins, the European bottled water market grew to represent a $39.3 billion segment of the market. Individual European countries often top the list of consumers with 4 of the 10 largest bottled water markets and 13 of the 20 top per capita volume of bottled water consumption. Although some countries, such as Germany and the Netherlands, purchase a high volume of sparkling water which can be categorized separately from still water, the majority of the market share is still comprised of natural water. This begs the question whether bottled water is simply a trend, as in the United States, or a necessity.

Vittel drinking water and its healing powers, 1905. (Image courtesy of Fab Frog)

Vittel advertising, 1905. (Image courtesy of Fab Frog)

Does this mean that bottled water is less environmentally harmful in Europe than in the U.S.? Not at all. The fact is that many European countries often have pre-existing recycling infrastructure in place and recycling is more ingrained in the habits of consumers. Additionally, the distance that bottled water has to travel to reach its final destination is unaccounted for in this article, but an important aspect of this issue. Tap water from a reusable container is the most environmentally conscious choice, but as water quality is variable and based on location the best choice is to get information before drinking tap water.

Beneath the calm shores of European bodies of water, lies a history of industrialization, pollution, and pesticide usage that calls water quality into question. Following scrutiny in the 1960s and 70s, the quality of European tap water became the focus of E.U. and national policies, with countries such as Germany taking the lead in cleaning some of the remnants of industrial and agricultural pollution. However, not all countries have adopted strict guidelines to protect their water sources and many Eastern European countries lack adequate monitoring and compliance mechanisms.

Bicyclists of the Tour de France enjoy Perrier after the Rally. (Image courtesy of FFFFOUND)

A Perrier ad for Tour de France refreshments. (Image courtesy of FFFFOUND)

PET, or polyethylene terephthalate, is the most commonly used material for water bottles with 82.4% of water bottle packages made from it. Some plus sides of PET is that it can be recycled and reused indefinitely, but the most problematic aspect of bottled water is the disposal of the empty bottle. The materials cycle encompassing the production, use, and disposal of the product is often unaccounted for when considering the environmental impact of products. The American case against bottled water is mainly contingent upon the lack of adequate recycling and fact that most bottled water containers wind up in landfills after use. The case in most European countries is often different, as there is a greater emphasis on recycling than currently in place in the U.S.

Tap water in a reusable container, when safe and available, is the best choice regardless of where you live. The key is to inform yourself about water quality in the area whether at home or traveling and unsure of the quality of tap water. Usually countries in Western Europe have good quality tap water, but be aware that the quality in Eastern Europe is often lower. If buying bottled water then try to buy as local as possible and find out where to recycle the used bottle. This will ensure the least harmful environmental impact, while giving you the ability to choose the best option for the area.

– The Water Information System for Europe
– European Federation of Bottled Waters


  1. Nins
    Posted June 13, 2010 at 6:32 PM | Permalink

    Thank you for this article. Questionable hara Kiri picture though…

  2. tati
    Posted August 25, 2010 at 4:04 AM | Permalink

    "After the Rape…" is a crazy picture!

    "Tap water in a reusable container, when safe and available, is the best choice regardless of where you live." – – – Exactly.

  3. Posted January 22, 2015 at 9:33 AM | Permalink

    Hey,great article.I would like to add some words.In this day and age,it appears like bottled water is getting to be more popular.It has basically turned into the icon for healthy beverages.There are pretty nearly 475 bottled water plants in the U.s., delivering 600 brands of bottled water.It is evaluated that one in six American families utilization bottled water as either the essential or just wellspring of water.In California alone,residents expend in excess of 33% of the bottled water that is sold.

    –Rachel Wood.

  4. Posted May 15, 2015 at 2:56 PM | Permalink

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  5. Posted May 22, 2015 at 2:54 AM | Permalink

    Будто меньше выплачивать по кредиту?

    Случаются переделки в жизни, как скоро по неожиданным причинам усугубляется физическое положение.
    В результате, где там выплачивать установлению необходимую
    сумму сообразно кредиту. в таком случае,
    лучше лично отправится в банк, чем ожидать, покуда дьявол никак
    не подаст иеремиаду в трибунал.
    Имеется некоторое количество разновидностей чтобы, чтоб уменьшить выплаты сообразно

    1. Реструктуризация

    Кредитор соглашаться возьми уступки, по просьбе заемщика.
    Можно шмальнуть о том, чтоб прирастить
    срок кредита на длительное время,
    в результате чего же, снизится ежемесячный платеж.
    Такой вариант безупречный в том
    случае, допустим банк никак не заменит %-ую ставку в протяжении
    всего время кредита.

    Также, разрешено попросить
    об кредитных каникулах. Это вероятность никак не оплачивать авторитет
    пару месяцев. Нередко около лизинге используют эту схему.

    Разрешено условиться лишь о кредитных процентах,
    либо собрать личный график выплат.

    Очередной вид реструктуризации – это совершенное
    или частичное погашения кредита лично банком.
    Таковой разновидность используют в чрезвычайно редких случаях.
    Почаще спишут только штрафные доля из-за прострочку

    2. Рефинансирование (перекредитование)

    Это вероятность взять новейший авторитет в
    своем либо в ином банке для закрытия старого кредита,
    возьми более выгодных условиях.

    Поначалу необходимо устремиться в свой банк
    о этом предписании, но не любой банк желает проводить
    рефинансирование собственных кредитов.

    Тогда, следует отыскать подходящий банк с лучшими условиями.
    На данный момент чрезвычайно активная конкуренция
    посреди банковских органов.

    Легко разрешено отыскать кредитора, кой даст
    согласие на такую операцию, главное, чтоб была хорошая кредитная история.
    Погасив старый кредит, заимодатель должен выплачивать новейший,
    но уже с наименьшими процентами.

  6. Posted May 24, 2015 at 8:19 AM | Permalink

    Онлайн-заявки возьми авторитет: какие способности дают автокефальные банки (Дневник)
    допустим вам пригодился кредит, а на улице
    нестерпимая жара либо как из ведра, то ходить
    по отделениям банков – далеко
    не приятная задумка. Еще легче
    и комфортнее отправить данные сообразно интернету
    и заполучить предварительное
    решение с банка. Тот или другой банки дают эту опцию, разглядим в этом блоге.

    кредит онлайн украина на карту
    Полностью логично, будто с возникновением возможности шопинговать и заказ услуг
    через веб, такое преимущество стало общедоступно и для финансовых услуг.

    Правда, с кредитами безвыездно обстоит труднее, чем,
    к примеру, с заказом пиццы – ведь тут банк должен не только лишь идентифицировать персона заявителя, да и поставить его состоятельность.
    тем не менее, чтоб заинтересовать особо занятых и ценящих родное момент заемщиков, банкам нельзя не ходить на соглашение.
    А заемщики к тому же имеют все шансы получать из этого возможную

    Итак, онлайн-заявка возьми кредит понадобится потенциальному заемщику, чтоб:

    оценить свои шансы на приобретение кредита;
    сравнить обстоятельства для конкретно своего варианта кредитования в различных банках;
    избежать посещения банка для уточнения критерий и подачи
    положения возьми авторитет.

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  10. Posted March 27, 2016 at 10:39 PM | Permalink

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