Lautenberg Bill Requires Bottled Water to Display Source, Quality

Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-N.J.) introduced legislation to provide consumers critical information about the origin and quality of the bottled water they are drinking – and the impact that producing and disposing these bottles has on our environment.

Lautenberg introduced his bill during a Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on drinking water oversight.

“Americans deserve to know what’s in their water. Bottled water has become such a big part of our culture that the public has a right to know where it comes from and how it is treated,” he said. “This bill would make sure they get that information. “As long as water is sold in bottles, we must make sure the truth about that water is not bottled along with it.”

The Bottled Water Safety and Right-to-Know Act would require bottled water manufacturers to display the quality and source of the water and type of treatment that the water has undergone on the bottles they sell. The bill would also require that manufacturers submit information about their bottled water’s origins and quality to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and that such information be accessible to the public.

In 2007, Americans spent more than $11 billion on bottled water, up from $8 billion in 2005. Today, more than half of all Americans consume bottled water and Americans have come to rely on it during emergencies.

While some bottlers may use additional treatment to clean the water, almost 40 percent of bottled water comes from municipal water sources. Manufacturing bottled water also contributes to lasting environmental costs. Some 2.7 million tons of plastic are used each year to produce the nation’s water bottles and the majority of this ends up in landfills.

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