Monday, 19 May 2008

One into ten - ?

Photo from Flickr user jackace. Creative Commons licence.

Volvic, owned by Danone Waters, have launched a campaign to encourage people to buy bottled water. For every litre bought, Volvic will "generate" 10 litres of safe, clean water in Africa.

Yet again big business is "helping" Africa for its own purposes (cf P&G, Unilever).

Bottled water has had extremely bad press recently, with several campaigns pointing out that the water in our taps is as good if not better than bottled water and doesn't use up unnecessary energy. So to make us feel good about it, they have started this marketing campaign in the UK, apparently following successful similar efforts in France, Mexico, Germany and Japan.

They, bizarrely to my mind, compare the carbon emissions from the production of a litre of Evian or Volvic with the production of a kilo of chicken #!@#!! Why are they comparing water with a chicken? So you're better drinking water than eating a kilo (2.2 lbs) of chicken? Why are they not comparing bottled water with tap water I wonder?

My first thoughts are that I would rather donate money directly to a charity, WaterAid for instance, and do without Volvic and their cut altogether.


  1. You know, they keep saying that about tap water (that it's the same or just as safe to drink.) Not that I don't believe that may be true sometimes, but there are a lot of areas with really nasty tap water from municipal sources too, and places like where I live where everyone has their own well or spring. The only way we can tell if our water is safe to drink is regular, expensive testing, so I might just as well buy bottled!

  2. Amen, just give the money straight away and forget the bottled water. We have nasty water where I live. We installed a filter, now the water from the tap is clear & delicious. It's the bottles that are bad!!

  3. We live à la campagne an 4or5 times a year the tap water is brown, so I do use bottled water for drinking - though I try to minimise the ammount of plastic by buying the 5 litre bottles. The water company reassured me that the water was perfectly safe when I phoned them, but weren't quite as keen to prove it when I took them a sample! When it happens in the summer we use the pool water for washing, but in winter it's bottled unless it happens to be raining

  4. I have to say that I think Volvic have jumped on the ethical bandwagon.

    It's just a shame that Volvic are apparently spending £3m on an advertising campaign which results in a donation of £100,000 to World Vision.

    Add to that that World Visions slightly biased view to 'charity' - which revolves around religious beliefs such that they state their mission statement to be....."To educate others about the needs of children and their communities worldwide and God’s call for Christians to serve the poor"....and for their staff to have a "Commitment to Christ, regular attendance at a local church, growth in your walk with Christ".

    I don't get it. Is Volvic pushing religion, or trying to make a fast buck out of a charity angle which makes them, presumably, a shed load of money of which only a fraction of which goes to charity?

  5. and I have not danone in my heart since the delocalisation of the usine wich was in France. since i prefer buy other products. If only each town, each village could help a place in the world. I don't believe the solution can be with volvic.


Forethoughts, afterthoughts, any thoughts. Tell me.


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