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Survey Finds Americans Have Positive Opinions On Bottled Water

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Almost nine in 10 Americans say they have a positive opinion of bottled water as a beverage choice, according to a national survey of more than 2,000 U.S. adults ages 18 and older conducted online by The Harris Poll on behalf of the International Bottled Water Association.

More than four in five Americans say water is among their most preferred beverage, and bottled water is among their most preferred non-alcoholic beverages, at 65 percent compared to coffee at 63 percent and soft drinks at 58 percent.

Nine in 10 Americans say bottled water should be available wherever other drinks are sold (unchanged from 2019 survey). Of the bottled water drinkers who have a packaging preference, 73 percent prefer water packaged in plastic bottles (16 percent said glass, 6 percent said metal cans, and 4 percent said paper cartons or box).

If plain bottled water is not available, 70 percent of those who identify bottled water as among their most preferred beverages said they would choose another packaged drink. That included: soda (22 percent), sparkling or sweetened or flavored bottled water (10 percent), sports drink (8 percent), tea (7 percent), coffee (6 percent), juice/fruit drinks (5 percent), functional water (5 percent), bottled tea (4 percent), energy drink (3 percent).

Among the remaining 30 percent, a third (10 percent) would drink from a watercooler, either using a refillable cup (5 percent) or disposable cup (5 percent). Ten percent would drink filtered tap water, 6 percent would drink unfiltered tap water, while 4 percent would drink from a public water fountain (down from 7 percent in 2019).

Eighty-eight percent of Americans say they have a positive opinion of bottled water (46 percent had “very positive” and 42 percent saying “somewhat positive”). Only 12 percent of people say they had a negative opinion (10 percent had “somewhat negative” and 2 percent “very negative”).

Ninety-six percent of Americans have purchased bottled water. This aligns with news that bottled water continues to be America’s No. 1 beverage, outselling soda (by volume) for the seventh year in a row in 2022, according to the Beverage Marketing Corporation.

“People are increasingly choosing beverages with fewer calories, so they are shifting away from less healthy packaged drinks and are choosing the healthiest option,” said Jill Culora, IBWA’s VP of communications. “People who make this switch are also helping the environment because not only are bottled water containers 100 percent recyclable (including the cap) but they also contain much less plastic than soda and other packaged beverages.”

According to the survey, 86 percent of Americans say they at least sometimes drink it while they travel, 84 percent drink it at work and 81 percent drink it at home (a 5 percent increase from 76 percent in 2019), while 77 percent drink it at social events where other drinks are served (up 7 percent from 70 percent in 2019).

Bottled water containers are 100 percent recyclable – even the caps. And it is the most recognized and recycled PET plastic container in curbside recycling systems. In fact, bottled water containers make up about 49 percent of all PET plastic collected in curbside systems throughout the U.S. 

Soda bottles make up only 18 percent of the PET plastic collected in curbside programs, according to the National Association for PET Container Resources’ 2018 Postconsumer PET Bottle Bale Composition Analysis.

For more information about bottled water, visit bottledwater.org.

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Donald E. Stephens Convention Center
Chicago, Illinois
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