At nearly $15 billion in U.S. sales last year, bottled water can be found everywhere. So can the bottles — and that's what has environmentalists fighting to reduce the approximately 38 million plastic containers that are discarded every year.
Smart retailers are staying above the fray by adding a selection of reusable containers to their beverage aisle.
Several are already available. The Brita filter company and Nalgene, which produces reusable water bottles, teamed up to form the FilterForGood campaign, which sells special-edition water bottles and donates a portion of the proceeds to charity.
There's also the Sigg bottle. The Swiss-engineered aluminum containers are now accessorizing the eco-conscious rich and famous, such as Madonna and David Beckham. The bottles are available in 144 different designs and 22 interchangeable lids, such as a flip-top sport cap for Mom and a nipple top for baby. Whole Foods Market and several other retailers have taken the line on.
“People talk about the convenience of bottled water, and we say go out and buy a reusable, refillable water bottle,” said Deb-orah Lapidus, national organizer for Corporate Accountability International, which claimed victory this summer when PepsiCo announced it would begin noting on the label that its Aquafina brand is purified tap water. Coca-Cola's Dasani also comes from public water sources.