Editor’s Note: The comment below was forwarded from a Huffington Post comment I made in response to a comment posted by Tom Lauria, who is a paid spokesman for the IBWA. That Mr. Lauria didn’t feel compelled to disclose his paid relationship was about par for the course for the bottled water industry, and I’ll let my readers decide for themselves why the IBWA felt it necessary to hire a man who spent nearly a decade fronting for The Tobacco Institute.
For those who don’t know, Tom Lauria is a paid spokesperson for the Bottled Water Association (IBWA), and counts among his many accomplishments a nearly decade-long stint fronting for the Tobacco Institute.
So we know he’s capable of saying almost anything with a straight face – and apparently doing so without disclosing the fact he’s being paid flack for the bottled water industry.
And yes, of course it makes sense to single out bottled water – other beverages don’t pour (almost) freely from your tap.
The bottled water companies (Nestle is the biggest player in the USA) make noises about supporting curbisde recycling, but that’s window dressing – a good 70% of the discarded water bottles never make it to a recycler.
What’s rarely a part of the debate – and Mr. Lauria never seems willing to touch the issue – is how Nestle Waters of North America’s predatory tactics have caused no end to troubles in small, rural communities (the source of most of their tap water).
Nestle sued the tiny Maine town of Fryeburg five times (one suit, four appeals) and finally found the legal loophole they needed to force the town to accept a 24/7 truck loading station in a residentially zoned area.
I could go on about their antics in a dozen other communities, but there’s a reason that Nestle has become one of the most boycotted corporations on the planet, and supporting bottled water means you’re supporting Nestle’s bludgeoning of rural towns and privatization of public water supplies.