Fiji Water thirsts to quench eco-trouble

A bottle of Fiji water

TEXT OF STORY

Scott Jagow: Bottled water has turned into a $15 billion. But it's gotten some bad press lately. Some groups are complaining about the environmental impact. The fuel used to transport it. The plastic bottles that end up in landfills.

One company is taking the high road. Today, Fiji Water unveils a new eco-friendly business plan. Jeff Tyler reports.


Jeff Tyler: Within three years, Fiji Water claims the production and sale of each bottle will result in a net reduction of the carbon in the atmosphere.

Tom Moonie: We don't know of any company in our industry that has made a commitment as broad as the one we have.

That's Fiji Water's Tom Moonie. In practical terms, he says:

Moonie: We're gonna rely at least 50 percent on renewable fuel sources for our energy. We're gonna reduce our packaging by at least 20 percent, and then we'll substantially reduce waste during our manufacturing process by 33 percent.

Jon Coifman with the Natural Resources Defense Council credits the company for good intentions, but:

Jon Coifman: It's still hard to justify shipping over a million plastic bottles of water a day from the middle of the South Pacific, when turning on your faucet at home would do just as good a job for a tiny fraction of the cost.

The company is a big player in Fiji's economy. Bottled water accounts for roughly 20 percent of the island country's exports.

I'm Jeff Tyler for Marketplace.

About the author

Jeff Tyler is a reporter for Marketplace’s Los Angeles bureau, where he reports on issues related to immigration and Latin America.

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