W W W. B O T T L E D W AT E R . O R G
ALSO IN THIS Visiting Capitol Hill for the First Time
ISSUE Telling the Story Learning From a of Bottled Water’s Recycling Facility Package
BOTTLED WATER REPORTER | OCT/NOV/DEC 2013
BPA SPECIAL INVESTIGATING BPA CAN YOU BELIEVE WHAT THE MEDIA SAYS ABOUT BPA?
GETTING ONLINE OBSTACLES AND ADVANTAGES OF ONLINE BILL PAYMENT AND ORDERING SYSTEMS
A PUBLICATION OF THE INTERNATIONAL BOTTLED WATER ASSOCIATION
VOL. 53 • NO. 6
COLUMNS GOVERNMENT RELATIONS
24 | You Never Forget Your First Time How visiting Capitol Hill can change you forever COMMUNICATIONS
26 | Bottled Water: The Package Is the Story A review of the improvements the bottled water industry has made to the package TECHNICAL UPDATE
28 | Clean Tech Gives Old Bottles New Life A tour of this recycling facility could help define operational procedures VALUE OF IBWA MEMBERSHIP
32 | Exposure is Key Richard Rouillard (Semopac) tells Bottled Water Reporter how attending conferences and reading the e-newsletter, IBWA News Splash, helps him better understand his clients’ issues and challenges.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
10 | Getting Online: Obstacles and Advantages
Bottlers of all sizes can benefit from implementing online bill payment and ordering systems. Your customers can benefit too—because the increased popularity of digital communication has them clamoring for even more online programs that simplify their lives. By Jill Culora
15 | Can You Believe What the Media Says About BPA? Recent media reports on bisphenol-A (BPA) claim the chemical compound causes virtually every disease known to man. But can you really believe the headlines? Is the media telling a complete and accurate story about BPA? By Steve Hentges, PhD
19 | Investigating BPA The media continues to stick with an alarmist BPA narrative—despite scientific evidence proving otherwise. Why do journalists continue to ignore all the research that confirms BPA poses no risk to humans? Perhaps they just don’t want a good risk assessment to get in the way of a good story. By Trevor Butterworth
DEPARTMENTS PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE.......................................4 CEU QUIZ..........................................................30 ADVERTISERS.COM............................................31 CALENDAR........................................................31 NEW MEMBERS.................................................31
CONNECT WITH IBWA
BOTTLED WATER REPORTER, Volume 53, Number 6. Published six times a year by The Goetz Printing Company, 7939 Angus Court, Springfield, VA, 22153, for the International Bottled Water Association, 1700 Diagonal Road, Suite 650, Alexandria, VA 22314-2973. Tel: 703.683.5213, Fax: 703.683.4074, www.bottledwaterreporter.org. Subscription rate for members is $25 per year, which is included in the dues. U.S. and Canadian subscription rate to nonmembers is $50 per year. International subscription rate is $100 per year. Single copies are $7. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Bottled Water Reporter, 1700 Diagonal Road, Suite 650, Alexandria, VA 22314-2973.
International Bottled Water Association
CHAIRMAN’S COMMENTARY NEW BEGINNINGS
My tenure as IBWA chairman is coming to end. I want to let you know that it has been an honor to serve you this past year. I consider being a part of this association one of the best investments of my time for my business and the overall bottled water industry. IBWA is fortunate: our membership is made up of professionals who are extremely knowledgeable and passionate about the bottled water industry, share that knowledge with others for the betterment of the industry, and step up to the plate when a little extra help is needed to get the job done—whatever that “job” may be. Sometimes, the job is going to Capitol Hill to educate members of Congress about bottled water industry issues; other times, it’s participating on committees or volunteering to be a committee chair to help shape the direction of IBWA; and often, the job is reaching out to new members to assist them as they learn more about the bottled water business. Participation is key. It is vital to IBWA’s effectiveness and ensures that your voice will be heard. Our association efforts are successful because IBWA members put in the time on committees to make them successful. From my many years of being active on IBWA committees and the board, I can tell you that the value of participation certainly works both ways: I give of my time and energy to this worthy organization, and the effort gives back to me tenfold by safeguarding my business by screening regulatory actions, reviewing technical and environmental issues, and communicating the good story of bottled water. During the last year, I’ve learned to appreciate what IBWA is all about even more—how it helps shape the industry and how I know it will continue to tackle the challenges and opportunities ahead. From my special vantage point, I’ve observed how members, staff, and counsel come together to address the issues we face. As one of my last official tasks as IBWA chairman, I’d like to offer a special thanks to IBWA’s outstanding staff, dedicated Committee Chairs, and active members for their continuing efforts to move the bottled water industry forward. I’d also like to thank the members of the IBWA Executive Committee and Board of Directors for their time and assistance in directing the mission of IBWA. I’m grateful to each of you for helping make this past year a successful one for IBWA and our member companies. In closing, I’d like to remind all IBWA members to help spread the word of IBWA’s work to non-members and ask them to join us. We are part of an industry that we can be proud of. We deliver a basic but necessary part of life: water. But not just any water: we deliver a safe, healthy, good tasting, conveniently packaged water that’s available when and where you need it. William Patrick Young IBWA Chairman
OFFICERS Chairman William Patrick Young, Absopure Water Co., Inc. Vice Chairman Breck Speed, Mountain Valley Spring Company, LLC Treasurer Dave Muscato, Nestlé Waters North America Immediate Past Chairman Philippe Caradec, Danone Waters of America
BOARD OF DIRECTORS Joe Bell, Bell Sales, Inc. Page Beykpour, CG Roxane Dan Bush, IGO Direct Premium Water Coolers Philippe Caradec, Danone Waters of America Marty Conte, Diamond Springs Water Tom Harrington, DS Waters Doug Hidding, Blackhawk Molding Co. Dave Holdener, Nicolet Forest Bottling Co. Scott Hoover, Roaring Spring Bottling Dan Kelly, Polymer Solutions International Dave Muscato, Nestlé Waters North America Greg Nemec, Premium Waters, Inc. Steve Raupe, Ozarka Water and Coffee Service Chris Saxman, Shenandoah Valley Water Co. Bryan Shinn, Shinn Spring Water Company Robert Smith, Grand Springs Distribution Breck Speed, Mountain Valley Spring Company, LLC Jeffrey Vinyard, Crystal Springs Bottled Water Co. Lynn Wachtmann, Maumee Valley Bottlers, Inc. William Patrick Young, Absopure Water Co., Inc.
IBWA EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Chairman, William Patrick Young, Absopure Water Co., Inc. Stewart Allen, DS Waters Joe Bell, Bell Sales, Inc. Philippe Caradec, Danone Waters of America Marty Conte, Diamond Springs Water Henry R. Hidell, III, Hidell International Scott Hoover, Roaring Spring Bottling Dan Kelly, Polymer Solutions International Dave Muscato, Nestlé Waters North America Chris Saxman, Shenandoah Valley Water Co. Breck Speed, Mountain Valley Spring Company, LLC
COMMITTEE CHAIRS Communications Committee Jane Lazgin, Nestlé Waters North America Stephen Tischler, National Testing Laboratories Education Committee Glen Davis, Absopure Water Co., Inc. Bryan Shinn, Shinn Spring Water Company Environmental Sustainability Committee Philippe Caradec, Danone Waters of America Jeff Davis, Blackhawk Molding Co. Government Relations Committee Shayron Barnes-Selby, DS Waters Robert Smith, Grand Springs, Inc. Membership Committee Allen French, Edge Analytical Kelley Goshay, DS Waters State and Regional Associations Committee Joe Cimino, ChoiceH2O Ross Rosette, H2Oregon Supplier and Convention Committee Brian Grant, Pure Flo Water, Inc. Dan Kelly, Polymer Solutions International Technical Committee Andy Eaton, Eurofins Eaton Analytical Kevin Mathews, Nestlé Waters North America
is the voice of the bottled water industry The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) is the authoritative source of information a bo ut a ll ty p es of b ot tl ed wa te r s . I B WA m em b e r sh i p p rov i d es bo tt l e r s , d i s t r i b u t o r s , a n d su pp li e r s— sm a l l , m e d i u m , a n d l a r g e — w it h s e r v i c e s t ha t save you ti me a n d m o ney. I B WA p ro t e c t s y o u r c o m p a -
n y ’ s b o t t o m l i n e by op po si ng a l l l eg is l a ti o n a n d re g u la ti o n th a t c o u l d re d u c e yo ur p rof i ts or i m po se u nn ec e ss a r y re g u l a t o r y bur d en s o n yo ur bu si n e s s o p er a ti o n s . I B WA d e f e n d s y o u r i n t e re s t s by wor ki n g d i re c t ly w it h l eg i sl a t or s a n d r eg ul a t or s on is s u e s ( s uc h a s p rop os ed ta xes a n d g ro u n d w a t er re st r ic t io n s ) a f f ec ti n g t he b ot tl e d w a t er i nd u st r y. I B WA p ro v i d e s e d u c a t i o n a l a n d t e c h n i c a l
re s o u rc e s t h ro u g h m em b er s - on ly p u b l i c a ti o n s o n s u c h to pi c s a s b ro m a t e / D B P s , t a s t e / o d o r, a nd p a t ho g e ns / c on ta mi na nt s. I B WA e d u -
c a t e s m e m b e r s o n s e c u ri t y ri s k a s s e s s m e n t a n d p re v e n t i o n by prov i d i ng th e l a t es t d evel o pm en ts i n f oo d se c u r i ty a n d s a f e t y, a n d r e q u i rem e n ts fo r t h e b o tt l e d w a t e r in d u st r y f ro m th e D e p a r t me n t o f H om e la nd S ec u r i ty, t he U. S . D e p a r t me nt o f A g r i c u l t u re , a n d t h e U. S . Fo od a nd Dr u g A d m i n i s t r a t i o n . I B WA p ro v i d e s n e t -
w o r k i n g o p p o r t u n i t i e s th a t a l lo w yo u t o di s c us s p ro b l e m s , g e t a n swer s to yo u r b u s in es s q u e st io n s a n d s h a r e so l u t io n s du r i ng th e a n nua l c o nven ti on a n d ot he r m ee ti n g s . I B WA m e m b e r s h i p s e t s y o u
a p a r t f ro m t h e c o m p e t i t i o n b y h e l p i n g you r b u si n e ss m a i nt a i n h ig h qu a l it y st a n d a rd s t h ro u g h it s a n n u a l , u n a n n o u n c e d f a c il i ty in s pec t io n a nd co m p l i a n c e w it h th e I B WA B o tt le d Wa te r C o d e of Pr a c ti c e .
Join IBWA today! For more info r m a t i o n , visit at www. b o t t l e d w a t e r. o r g .
PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE ONLINE BUSINESS STRATEGIES, BPA, AND MORE Business innovation and the plastics packaging issue of bisphenol-A (BPA) are the topics we tackle in this issue of Bottled Water Reporter. As we are all aware, business best practices evolve almost daily in this digital age, and bottled water companies, just like any other businesses, want to implement operational strategies that can be of benefit to both them and their customers. Enter online bill payment and ordering systems. While adding another layer to your website might seem overwhelming, perhaps after reading “Getting Online: Obstacles and Advantages,” you’ll be able to fully weigh the consequences of adding—or not adding—these digital systems.
International Bottled Water Association BOTTLED WATER REPORTER is published for: International Bottled Water Association 1700 Diagonal Road, Suite 650 Alexandria, VA 22314-2973. Tel: 703.683.5213 Fax: 703.683.4074 www.bottledwater.org
IBWA STAFF President Joseph K. Doss firstname.lastname@example.org Vice President of Education, Science, and Technical Relations Robert R. Hirst email@example.com Vice President of Government Relations Vacant Vice President of Communications Christopher S. Hogan firstname.lastname@example.org
A topic that continues to see a lot of media coverage is BPA. But, as author Steve Hengtes, PhD, of the American Chemistry Council’s Polycarbonate/BPA Global Group, asks, “Can You Believe What the Media Says About BPA?” Hengtes provides an informative review illustrating why BPA is important to the plastics industry, how journalists continue to ignore the scientific research proving the safety of this chemical compound, and why you—and your customers—should feel confident in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s opinion that BPA is safe for use in food/beverage containers.
Chief Financial Officer Michelle S. Tiller email@example.com
In “Investigating BPA,” we continue to delve into understanding how it came to be that BPA is the misunderstood chemical compound of the plastics industry. Journalist Trevor Butterworth explains how one interview with one developmental biologist on two studies (each with seven mice) set in motion a one-sided media debate on BPA. Yet, he suggests things might be changing.
Director of Government Relations J.P. Toner firstname.lastname@example.org
This issue’s columns offer IBWA members motivation to get more involved in association activities. In the Government Relations column, we acknowledge that participating in Capitol Hill visits can be intimidating, but we review the many ways IBWA staff is available to make your first time a success. A recent tour of the recycling facility Clean Tech Incorporated is highlighted in the Technical Update column—along with information on how members can aid recycling efforts by adjusting their business procedures. And in the Communications column, we encourage members to share the good story of bottled water by communicating to consumers the many steps our industry has taken to make our containers environmentally sustainable. As always, I hope you enjoy reading this issue of Bottled Water Reporter. Let us know if you have any article suggestions or would like to contribute to an upcoming issue.
Director of Conventions, Trade Shows, and Meetings Michele Campbell email@example.com Director of Science and Research Tamika Sims firstname.lastname@example.org
Manager of Publications and Special Projects Sabrina E. Hicks email@example.com Manager of Member Services Dennis Carpenter firstname.lastname@example.org Education and Technical Programs Coordinator Claire Crane email@example.com Executive Assistant Patrice Ward firstname.lastname@example.org Bottled Water Reporter Layout and Design Rose McLeod email@example.com Tel: 315.447.4385 Editor Sabrina E. Hicks firstname.lastname@example.org Graphic Designer Rose McLeod email@example.com Advertising Sales Stephanie Schaefer firstname.lastname@example.org
Joe Doss IBWA President 4
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IBWA Supports Michelle Obama’s Campaign to Encourage Americans to Drink More Water On September 12, 2013, in Watertown, Wisconsin, First Lady Michelle Obama helped kick off the “Drink Up” initiative to encourage Americans to drink more water. IBWA is a proud supporter of this collaboration between the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) and Mrs. Obama, PHA’s honorary chair. In outlining the campaign’s mission and her support of water as the best way to stay hydrated, Mrs. Obama took several opportunities to convey the importance of drinking more water. “I’ve come to realize that if we were going to take just one step to make 6
ourselves and our families healthier, probably the single best thing we could do is to simply drink more water,” she said. “It’s as simple as that. Drink more water.” Mrs. Obama also encouraged Americans to “drink just one more glass of water a day and you can make a real difference for your health, for your energy, and the way that you feel. And there’s plenty of scientific evidence to back this up. For example, when we’re properly hydrated, our bodies perform better than when we’re even just a little bit dehydrated.” The First Lady also talked about the importance of
being able to choose healthy beverages, including bottled water: “The truth is we all have a choice about what we drink. And, when we choose water, we’re choosing to be at our very best. And we don’t even need science to tell us that that’s a good idea. Most of us already know this from our own experience.” In her closing remarks, Mrs. Obama focused on the importance of choosing to drink water as part of a healthier life. “It doesn’t matter where you get it from— the tap, a water bottle, a water fountain—just drink one more glass of water a day,”
she advised. “And if we all do this—if we all drink up— we’ll all feel better and we’ll have more energy; we will have more focused students; we will have more productive workplaces; we will have more vibrant neighborhoods and a healthier country. In the end, that’s what it’s all about.” IBWA President and CEO Joe Doss, former IBWA Chairman Philippe Caradec (Danone Waters of America), and Nestlé Waters North America CEO Tim Brown also attended the event and had the opportunity to meet the First Lady. It’s not too late to get your company involved in this effort. IBWA members are encouraged to actively promote this important and highly visible initiative to inspire more Americans to drink more water more often. There is no cost or obligation to become a Drink Up campaign partner. PHA is asking people across the country to visit www.YouAreWhatYouDrink. org to get more information about the campaign. Anyone can use the logo and messages to encourage others to drink more water by Tweeting about it, Facebooking it, Instagraming it, and talking about it. The effort can be found across social media locations at @urH2O or via the hashtag #drinkH2O. To learn more about the Partnership for a Healthier America’s Drink Up campaign, please email water@ ahealthieramerica.org.
Kristin Safran College Scholarship Awarded to Allison McLamb
Sweet Briar College freshman Allison McLamb is the 2013 recipient of the Kristin Safran College Scholarship, as announced by the Drinking Water Research Foundation (DWRF) on September 30. McLamb, whose father Charles works for IBWA member DS Waters, began Sweet Briar this fall with plans to study education. She was also accepted into the Honors Program at Sweet Briar, a distinction given to those with high academic achievement. During the judging process, DWRF trustees blindly reviewed applications from children or grandchildren of IBWA members (i.e., judges did not know the names of the children or parents, or the company the parents work for when reviewing applications). While DWRF trustees said the majority of applicants were strong and selecting a winner was challenging, McLamb stood apart from the rest.
McLamb graduated from Howard High School in Ellicott City, Maryland, with a 4.36 GPA and was in the top 5 percent of her class. She was also awarded the Principal’s Honor Roll all four quarters of each academic year (9th-12th grades) and was a member of the National Honor Society and a scholar athlete. McLamb played field hockey (all four years of high school, serving as captain her senior year) and lacrosse, and participated in indoor and outdoor track. In her community, McLamb coached special needs children during Special Olympics games and volunteered as a teacher’s aide. She also held a variety of jobs throughout high school, all while maintaining straight As. DWRF created the Kristin Safran College Scholarship Fund in February 2010 in honor of former IBWA Board of Directors member, Kristin Safran (ARK
Specialty Services) who passed away in 2009. The scholarship was established to help high school seniors pursue their college studies. The DWRF trustees and IBWA congratulate Allison McLamb on her impressive achievements and on receiving the 2013 Kristin Safran College Scholarship.
DWRF Submits Comments on the 2015 Dietary Guidelines On September 25, 2013, the Drinking Water Research Foundation (DWRF) submitted comments to the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC), the group responsible for providing recommendations to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for the 2015 Dietary Guidelines. The DGAC was accepting public comments in preparation for its October 2013 meeting at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland, which IBWA staff planned to attend. IBWA and DWRF established a Dietary Guidelines Working Group to develop comments and gather scientific literature to help educate the DGAC members on the importance of water consumption as part of a healthy diet and water’s positive influence on the body. Although water consumption is not currently included in the USDA “MyPlate” nutrition guide, water should have a prominent place in any promotional tool used to advocate for healthy diets. Many countries—such as China, France, Japan, Spain, Australia, Ireland, Switzerland, Belgium, Latvia, Austria, and Bulgaria—already include water in their nutrition guides.
For more on the USDA’s 2015 Dietary Guidelines, visit www.DietaryGuidelines.gov.
PACKAGING BY THE NUMBERS
US demand for caps and closures is projected to increase 4.4 percent annually to $10.4 billion in 2016, reaching 280 billion units.
3.6 billion pounds
US demand for post-consumer recycled plastic is projected to rise 6.5 percent yearly to 3.6 billion pounds in 2016. Bottles will remain the leading source.
39 percent Recycling rate for bottled water reaches nearly 39 percent, while amount of PET plastic used in bottled water containers continues to drop.
15.9 billion pounds
Demand for plastic film in the United States is forecasted to grow 1.8 percent annually to 15.9 billion pounds in 2016. LLDPE will remain the leading film.
DID YOU KNOW?
Modern HOD Tip Sharing Steve Keim has created a new online forum for the home and office delivery (HOD) segment of the bottled water industry. Check it out: www. keimmunications. blogspot.com. GET SOCIAL
Follow IBWA on social media: /BOTTLEDWATERMATTERS
1.7 percent annually
US demand for beverage containers is expected to increase 1.7 percent annually through 2017 to 265 billion units, valued at $29.1 billion. Plastic containers will benefit from solid growth in the bottled water market.
US label demands are projected to climb 4.2 percent annually to $19.1 billion in 2017. Pressure sensitive segment will continue to enjoy healthy advances; however, it will face growing competition from alternative labeling methods for primary packaging, such as heat-shrink and stretch sleeve, and in-mold labels. Sources: The Freedonia Group, Inc. (www.freedoniagroup.com); National Association for PET Container Resources (www.napcor.com)
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Obstacles & Advantages Bottlers—of all sizes—can benefit from implementing online bill payment and ordering systems By Jill Culora
As times change, so do the way consumers choose to do business. It’s little wonder in this digital age—where people prefer to communicate in short Twitter-like messages, be it emails or texts—that your customer’s general tolerance for traditional communication channels is waning. Forget face-toface interaction, today even over-the-phone conversations are perceived as downright annoying for some, in not many, customers.
The increased popularity of digital communication has consumers clamoring for more online programs that can help simplify their lives. Tedious home tasks, such as paying bills, stocking the kitchen pantry, and scheduling bottled water service, are more convenient for customers when they have access to user-friendly automatic bill payment and online ordering systems. For bottlers, the task of adding another layer to your business website might seem overwhelming. But there are compelling reasons for management to consider adding these digital-age features. Of course, priority No. 1 is to keep your customers happy, but you also want to stay competitive—all while saving money and improving cash flow.
Worth the Work According to Brian Grant, CEO of San Diego, California’s Pure Flo Water Company, Inc., after implementing bill payment and online ordering systems, your business will
After Pure Flo implemented an online bill paying/ordering system, its customer service center received fewer calls. easily see the benefits. “Our customer service center receives a lot less customer service and payment telephone calls than in prior years,” he says. “Workflow scheduling is much simpler when you can perform tasks in logical order rather that waiting for the next phone call and reacting. Anything to make it simpler for a customer to pay their bill is going to reduce accounts receivables.” Pure Flo has been offering user-friendly product ordering and online billing since the 1990s. A perk of taking your billing system digital is that more customers will visit your website—and ultimately online orders will increase. Marty Conte, president of Diamond Springs Water, Inc., in Charlotte, North Carolina, states that “more and more customers are saying, ‘Don’t send any12
one out here’ or ‘Don’t have a salesperson contact me.’” If your customers are expressing the same sentiments to you, then perhaps they’ll also see the advantages of the online system. “Online billing and ordering systems allow customers to pay how they want to pay and place orders without talking to anyone,” advises Conte.
Introducing a business tool that will keep customers happy, put you ahead of your competition, and save you money is a no brainer. Right?
Introducing a business tool that will keep customers happy, put you at pace or ahead of your competition, and save you money is a no brainer—at least until you get serious about adding those features to your website, as Premium Waters, Inc. discovered.
The Art of the Strategy “We’ve gone through lots of Web developers, and they always want to push product, product, product,” says Brad Wester, general manager at Premium Waters. “Yes, we’re selling a product, but we are really selling service because of how our deliveries work, how our customers return 5-gallon empties. We just can’t ship stuff to people like Amazon. We deliver it, and we have cooler exchanges, and we deliver cups and coffee, and those deliveries work on a two-week schedule or a four-week schedule or an eightweek schedule. So, you have to provide a calendar—and remember to schedule around holidays. Web developers have to work around all these challenges.” For some bottled water companies, like Premium Waters, add to the complexity of that equation the fact that the bottler has many locations carrying different products. “We have to set up Web pages by location, and different
BEFORE YOU BEGIN The most common way to offer online billing is to partner with a third-party provider that uses its own paymentsecure URL for customer debit and credit card payments.
Should your business offer online ordering and billing? Here are some questions to ask before you start the process:
• Is your competition offering these services? • Are customers asking to pay or order online? • Will the savings justify the upfront costs? • Can you or someone on your staff drive this project? Source: Ronald L. Bond, Retail in Detail
locations have different prices,” says Wester. “Prices change, products change, things are discontinued—especially in the coffee market. Things are always changing with brands, and you are constantly going in and changing prices in our software system. Every time our software system needs updating, there’s some work to do on the IT side.” Offering online billing. Compared to the function of online ordering, online billing is far simpler to set up, and the costs savings are more tangible. Wester says the average cost of sending a customer a paper statement is about $1.50; with online billing, the cost is less than $0.50. “You have the potential to save a dollar with every bill for every customer. It really adds up,” he says. The most common way to offer online billing is to partner with a third-party provider that uses its own paymentsecure URL for customer debit and credit card payments. The provider’s IT support staff will work with your company’s IT people to set up the system. Costs vary, but they can include monthly and per transaction fees. A bottler can choose from the dozens of online billing providers available. Most banks work with various third-party providers, so it pays to shop around. Premium Waters compared the online billing services of Billtrust to those offered by Wells Fargo. “They were pretty similar, so we ended up going with Wells Fargo just because we are already familiar with them—we do our banking through them,” says Wester.
Adding online ordering. When moving customer sales to an online platform, bottled water companies have an advantage over most businesses because they already have an effective delivery/distribution system in place. Yet, the disadvantage stems from the complex business structure of bottled water companies: selling both a delivery and a pick-up service. Wester explains that adding an online ordering feature is expensive, and it pays to outsource software integration, letting experts lead you rather than trying to have your IT department reinvent the wheel. Premium, which is still several months from having its online ordering system completely up and running, is currently challenged with software capabilities between its ARS retail management software and the custom online ordering system. “We’re taking our time to ensure we create something secure for our customers,” he says. Off-the-shelf online ordering software tends to be onesize-fits-all, which doesn’t necessarily suit the needs of delivery and pick-up businesses. Wester suggests that bottlers
shop around for a website developer that has specific experience in setting up systems that can handle a multitude of variables, such as schedules, locations, etc. “In our first two attempts, we ended up getting rid of the third-party Web developers we were using because they couldn’t deliver what they said they could deliver,” he says. Wester provides the following advice to bottlers who are not yet offering online ordering: “Plan, plan, plan, and plan ahead to figure out exactly what you want before you say to a Web developer, ‘I’m kinda thinking about this,’ because Web developers have their own ideas, which might not necessarily be appropriate for your business—like selling a product vs. selling a service.” He suggests having a focused effort with a single person “driving the bus” who can pull together the necessary elements—IT people, creative people, HOD people, website people, software people—to see the project through.
Ultimately, bottlers should expect project delays due to unforeseen hurdles, such as software compatibility issues. “Do all your due diligence on the front end,” says Wester. “But know that no matter what they say, it will be 50 percent more time and 25 percent more money.” Jill Culora is an experienced business journalist who frequently contributes to Bottled Water Reporter; firstname.lastname@example.org.
IBWA Bottler Members Using Online Billing and Ordering Company: Crystal Springs Bottled Water Online services: Billing System used: Billtrust What’s good: Improves cash flow by offering customers an easier way to pay their bills. What’s not so good: No dislikes. Company: Diamond Springs Water, Inc. Online services: Ordering and billing System used: Company website with a shopping cart and iCheckGateway.com What’s good: It works, it’s fairly easy for employees to use, is consumer user-friendly, and secure. What’s not so good: It’s not interactive enough. Customers can’t look at their account—they can only make payments and place orders. Company: DS Waters Online services: Ordering and billing to bottled water and coffee customers System used: A custom system that overlays onto the company’s Oracle platform. What’s good: It allows for collaboration between marketing and IT to support concurrent, on-the-fly content changes without any system downtime. DS is not bound by any off-the-shelf product limitations while supporting full integration with back-office enterprise resource planning (ERP) functions. What’s not so good: A simpler interface would be preferred to facilitate mapping changes in ERP product and pricing configuration data to changes on the website.
Company: Pure Flo Water Company, Inc. Online services: Ordering and billing System used: GBC Systems, Inc. for ordering and Billtrust for billing What’s good: Simple, not a lot of bells and whistles, which customers seem to like. Billtrust gives customers the option to manage their accounts online and encourages them to switch to electronic billing via their computer or smartphone. What’s not so good: Although customers can enroll in Billtrust e-billing as soon as they open an account, they can’t make payments until they receive their first statement. Also, the system does not allow customers to pay in advance. If a customer doesn’t have a balance on their account, the system doesn’t recognize them. Billtrust does not have a solution for this yet. Company: Quality Water Works, Inc. Online services: Billing System used: American Business Systems, DMS What’s good: Simple to use and affordable. What’s not so good: If the customer has multiple accounts with four different billing addresses, they can’t pay online.
BPA IN THE NEWS
r o t Fac
n o i t Fic
Can You Believe What the Media Says About BPA?
By Steve Hentges
For many years, bisphenol-A (BPA) has been a popular research topic in the scientific community, and that scientific interest regularly spills over into the popular media. The headlines almost scream the results of the latest study with claims that BPA causes virtually every disease or health effect known to man: •
“BPA Exposure May Cause Infertility” ( July 31, 2013)
“BPA Linked to Obesity in Young Girls” ( June 13, 2013)
“Early BPA Exposure May Damage Tooth Enamel” ( June 11, 2013)
“BPA Exposure Linked to Asthma In Kids” (March 1, 2013)
“Microbiologist Says BPA Seen Causing Disease Generations Later” ( January 28, 2013)
“High BPA Levels in Kids Linked to Risk for Heart, Kidney Damage” ( January 9, 2013).
Government Agencies Worldwide Support the Safety of BPA Based on a Strong Scientific Foundation Many government agencies around the world have independently evaluated the science on BPA in recent years. The views of those agencies, which have been regularly updated to include the most recent scientific studies, consistently and strongly support the safety of BPA. Recent examples of government reviews from North America, Europe, and Asia include the following: • Hong Kong Centre for Food Safety (March 2013) • Health Canada (September 2012) • Food Standards Australia New Zealand (April 2012) • European Food Safety Authority (December 2011) • Swiss Federal Office of Public Health (December 2011) • Japanese National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (July 2011) • German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (May 2011)
But can you really believe the headlines? Is the media telling a complete and accurate story about BPA? If not, what’s missing and who can you believe?
Why is BPA Important? BPA is used in a wide array of consumer and industrial products that are essential to modern life. The two primary uses for BPA, accounting for about 95 percent of all BPA produced, are to make polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resins. Both are high-performing materials that have been increasingly used for about five decades to make products that you use every day. Polycarbonate is a highly shatter-resistant, light-weight, and optically clear plastic that also has high heat resistance and excellent electrical resistance. It is that combination of strong attributes that makes polycarbonate unique 16
among the diverse range of commercially available thermoplastics and, accordingly, so widely used. You’ll find it in everything from eyeglass lenses to sports safety equipment, and DVDs to life-saving medical devices. Important for the bottled water industry, polycarbonate is a common material used for home and office delivery’s (HOD) 3- and 5-gallon bottles. Epoxy resins are thermosets (i.e., hard, rigid plastic formed by irreversible curing at point of use) that have a unique combination of toughness, chemical resistance, and strong adhesion. Most epoxy resins are made from BPA, and those resins are commonly used in protective coatings and high-strength/ lightweight composites. Common applications for epoxy resins include wind turbine rotor blades, printed circuit boards, automobile primer coatings,
and water-based paints. Epoxy resins are also the most widely used protective coating in food and beverage cans, where the coating plays an important public health role in protecting the safety and integrity of the contents.
What’s All the Excitement About? For more than 15 years, BPA has fascinated scientists around the world. For much longer than that, it’s been known that BPA is a weakly estrogenic compound. That biological property doesn’t mean that BPA is harmful, and a large number of other compounds—including naturally occurring components of our daily diet (e.g., soy products)—are also estrogenic. But that property brings BPA to the center of a much broader scientific topic known as endocrine disruption, a term generally used to imply adverse health effects. Because much of what goes on inside our bodies is controlled by various hormones acting within our endocrine system, there is currently intense interest and scientific debate about whether endocrine-active compounds like BPA could interact with our endocrine system in any way—and, if so, whether that could have an effect on health. As a result of the scientific interest in endocrine disruption, BPA has become one of the best tested of all chemicals, and new studies on BPA are published virtually every day. While most of those studies can only be found in obscure scientific journals, and most are of limited importance, some of them do attract media attention. That’s not to say that journalists are scouring scientific journals looking for things to write about. Instead, new studies are regularly brought to the attention of journalists through press releases, most commonly issued by academic institutions and the publishers of journals. Some refer to this phenomenon as “science by press release,” but, put more simply, it’s a form of self-promotion.
While there may not be anything inherently wrong with publicly promoting new studies, press releases generally do not provide the context necessary to evaluate and understand the significance of a new study. Journalists may assume that a study highlighted in a press release must be important and thus will uncritically write about the study based almost entirely on what is in the press release. But with such a well-studied compound as BPA, what is often missing is the context provided by what is already known about BPA. Some questions that should be asked include the following: •
Is the study consistent with the large weight of scientific evidence already available on BPA?
Are the test conditions for laboratory animal studies, including the dose levels and how the dose is applied, relevant for humans?
Do epidemiology study designs allow cause-effect relationships to be established?
Does the study have critical limitations?
Without such important contextual details, new studies are inevitably reported as scare stories, even if the results are of little or no significance.
Stories You’ll Rarely See in the Media With the media’s one-dimensional focus on scare stories generated by press releases, there are two very important
stories that you’ll only rarely, if ever, find in the media. In contrast to the media’s approach of reporting on one study at a time, government agencies responsible for evaluating the safety of polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resins apply a quite different approach. That approach, sometimes described as a weight-ofevidence evaluation, involves evaluating and integrating together all relevant studies to reach conclusions that are supported by the best available scientific information. In the United States, a particularly important example of that approach is provided by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which has been evaluating BPA on an ongoing basis for
BPA IN THE NEWS
So far in 2013, there have been about 20 press releases touting new BPA studies, mostly from journals or universities, and many of which have attracted media attention. Most of those are in reference to new studies about to be published in the scientific literature where full details of the study can be found. But some are in reference to studies that have not yet been peer-reviewed and published; findings were merely discussed at a conference.
In further explanation, FDA states that its “current assessment is that BPA is safe at the very low levels that occur in some foods. This assessment is based on review by FDA scientists of hundreds of studies including the latest findings from new studies initiated by the agency.” That conclusion is distinctly different from what might be concluded from recent media stories on BPA, and it well illustrates the importance of basing conclusions on all relevant studies, not just one study at a time. The approach taken by FDA and its conclusion are consistent with the many other regulatory agencies worldwide that have each independently evaluated the safety of BPA. The consensus of these agencies,
Where Can You Get More Information? Further information on BPA can be found at www.FactsAboutBPA.org or by contacting the author: email@example.com.
quite a few years. In its most recent update on the safety of BPA from June 2013, FDA’s perspective on safety is clearly and concisely summarized in the form of a Q&A that appears on the agency’s website (http://bit.ly/FDAonBPA): Is BPA safe? Yes. Based on FDA’s ongoing safety review of scientific evidence, the available information continues to support the safety of BPA for the currently approved uses in food containers and packaging.
many of which specifically focused on the safety of BPA in materials that contact food (which are likely to be the most sensitive applications), is that BPA is safe as currently used (see sidebar on page 16). As important as these conclusions might be to consumers—who otherwise may only see media scare stories—these reassuring, and far more important, stories only rarely appear in the media. In addition to highlighting that its conclusion on the safety of BPA is based on review of hundreds of studies, FDA’s recent update also emphasized OCT/NOV/DEC 2013
Because of concerns expressed in the last few years about the safety of BPA, FDA initiated additional studies to help determine whether or not BPA is safe as it is currently used in food packaging and containers. Some of these studies have been completed and others are on-going. The FDA’s studies are being conducted by the agency’s National Center for Toxicological Research (NCTR). All are conducted under strict qualityassurance guidelines and are designed to produce information that will enhance our evaluation of BPA’s safety. The findings of the NCTR studies will be published in peer-reviewed scientific literature and will be reviewed by other experts including toxicologists and other scientists from the academic and private sectors, as well as by other regulatory scientists. The results from these new studies so far support FDA’s assessment that the use of BPA in food packaging and containers is safe. The research program undertaken by FDA is producing an extraordinarily robust set of scientific data that is virtually unprecedented for any chemical (see sidebar at right). The scientific foundation supporting the safety of BPA is already very strong and will be further strengthened with recently completed research from FDA that will be published soon. Those who have followed the BPA story for many years will be very interested to see if the media takes note of FDA’s important research.
FDA Research Provides Strong Support for the Safety of BPA Starting in 2009, scientists at FDA’s National Center for Toxicological Research have been executing a remarkable series of studies to answer key scientific questions and resolve uncertainties about the safety of BPA. To date, that program has resulted in 13 peer-reviewed scientific publications with more to come. Taken together, the findings from those studies provide strong support for the safety of BPA. Most of the studies published so far focus on how BPA is processed in the body, which provides important information on the potential for BPA to cause toxicity. In general, these studies confirm that BPA is efficiently metabolized and quickly eliminated from the body at all ages, which helps support the conclusion that BPA is unlikely to cause health effects at any age. Important findings from these studies include the following: • A series of studies on monkeys and rats confirm that BPA is efficiently metabolized not only in adults but also in pregnant animals, neonates, and the fetus. • The amount of BPA that could reach the fetus is extremely low due to the efficient metabolism of BPA by the mother, which protects the fetus from exposure. • A study in mice confirms that BPA does not accumulate in adipose tissue (fat) and does not persist in the body. • Because of physiological differences noted between rodents and monkeys, health effect studies in rodents are likely to over-predict the potential for health effects in primates, including humans. This is very important because most health effect studies are conducted in rodents. In the near future, FDA will publish the results of a subchronic toxicity study, which is one of the most comprehensive studies ever conducted on BPA. The study found no evidence that BPA causes health effects at any dose even remotely close to human exposure levels.
Steve Hentges leads the Polycarbonate/BPA Global Group, which consists of the leading global manufacturers of BPA and polycarbonate plastic. This group of the American Chemistry Council sponsors health and environmental research and supports a wide range of communications and advocacy activities. Hentges holds a PhD in organic chemistry from Stanford University and a BS in chemistry from the University of Minnesota. In his current position, he has been deeply involved with the science on BPA for more than 13 years.
BPA IN THE NEWS
something else that has received essentially no media attention: over the last several years, FDA has been conducting, in its own laboratory, a comprehensive research program designed to answer key scientific questions and clarify uncertainties about the safety of BPA. In its most recent update, FDA further stated:
A look into how—and why—the media ignores the science confirming that BPA poses no risk to humans By Trevor Butterworth
I recently asked three world-class statisticians to engage in a thought experiment, one that mirrored the moment bisphenol-A (BPA) entered the public’s consciousness. Imagine, I wrote, that you are watching television and that I, as a scientist, appeared on a news program to say that an entire field of science had to change based on my research. That what I had found represented a paradigm inversion—a turning upside down or backwards of our understanding of the way things worked. And then imagine that the
journalist interviewing me, having done her research, asked me for the statistical basis for this claim. And I answered, “Two studies, each with seven mice and 11 controls. In sum, a total of 14 dosed animals.” What would be your immediate reaction? “At first glance, this would sound as a claim totally out of proportion versus the magnitude and type of the evidence, clearly outrageous— but maybe I am missing something,” said OCT/NOV/DEC 2013
When confronted by any BPA claim, we need to do the following: • Ask to see the statistical evidence. • Be skeptical of small sample sizes. • Be cautious when those small sample sizes involve extrapolating a risk from a rodent to a human.
John Ioannidis, C. F. Rehnborg Professor in Disease Prevention in the School of Medicine at Stanford University, and one of the leading researchers into the scope and scale of error in medical research. David Spiegelhalter, Winton Professor for the Public Understanding of Risk, at the University of Cambridge’s Statistical Laboratory, and co-author (with Michael Blastland) of The Norm Chronicles: Stories About Numbers and Danger, expressed caution about making any judgment without more context, but he said, “I generally take a Bayesian approach to evidence, which means that extraordinary claims need extraordinary evidence.” The numbers of animals in the studies were too low to amount to substantial evidence; the claim needed proper replication. For Stanley Young, assistant director of Bioinformatics at the National Institute of Statistical Sciences, the problem was 20
more fundamental than low numbers. “I worked for many years as the lead statistician in an industrial toxicology lab,” said Young. “I’ve also consulted with biologists on predictive biology from animal studies. In both situations it was generally agreed, mice are generally poorer for predictions than rats; both are essentially awful for predicting humans.” Those reactions tell us a number of things. When confronted by any claim that we are at risk, we need to do the following: •
Ask to see the statistical evidence.
Be skeptical of small sample sizes.
Be cautious when those small sample sizes involve extrapolating a risk from a rodent to a human.
None of that is controversial: it’s the kind of basic quantitative literacy
that we all need to practice in a world powered by scientific claims. Or more realistically, it is the kind of literacy we need journalists to exercise on our behalf if they are going to report those scientific claims.
Questions Not Asked But back in 1998, in an interview on PBS FRONTLINE, no such questions were asked of a University of Missouri developmental biologist, Frederick vom Saal, when he talked about how he found adverse health effects at extremely low doses of BPA that didn’t occur at higher doses, how this meant that people—and especially fetuses and infants—were at risk from exposure to plastics in food packaging, and how these findings showed that “the fundamental tenets of a field of science” were wrong. Toxicology operated on the basis, first set down by Paracelsus in the 16th century, that the dose made the poison and that anything could be poisonous in high enough doses. His research represented a “paradigm inversion”—one that was so threatening to the field of toxicology, and to the billion-dollar chemical industry, that they would deny it was happening. The producers, the reporters, the interviewer—none of them thought to ask how all of this could be reliably and robustly deduced from the weight of 14 mouse prostate glands. Instead, the claims about BPA fit into a narrative of endocrine disruption that had emerged in the 1990s focusing on the threats to wildlife from estrogenic chemicals in the environment. BPA brought the threat home to humans. Still, neither the field of toxicology nor the chemical industry immediately dismissed vom Saal and his collaborators or their data. The National Toxicology Program called for the low dose experiments with BPA to be replicated, and
Saal would be portrayed in the media as the authority on BPA (USA Today gave him a full-page spread) even as the scientific criticism of his work— and counter evidence to the threat of BPA—grew in leaps and bounds.
The clearest warning sign that all was not what it seemed in BPA research came in 2004, with the publication of Iain Purchase’s Paton Prize lecture— “Fraud, errors and gamesmanship in experimental toxicology”—which reflected what this failure actually meant, and how the debate on BPA was departing from accepted scientific practice. “Gamesmanship is where the normal paradigm of the self-corrective mechanism in science, that is verification and scientific review, is not followed,” he wrote. “Rather, in place of scientific criticism, the focus of the criticism is the scientist or the scientist’s affiliation.”
Multi-generational toxicity studies conducted for the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) failed to reproduce low dose effects from BPA in a variety of species, while showing that such effects occurred with the control substance. Yet the media narrative either ignored that research or labeled it as corrupted by industry funding. In the media’s telling, there were hundreds of studies showing a risk, so why was the government not doing anything to ban this chemical?
Vom Saal had warned that the chemical industry would dismiss his findings—and here you had two research teams from industry who appeared to be doing just that. The proper scientific response, wrote Purchase, was for vom Saal to do a large-scale study to confirm his hypothesis; instead, he publicly attacked the competence and integrity of Ashby and Cagen. “The technical competence of Ashby’s group was questioned, but a member of vom Saal’s group trained Ashby’s group in the technique of prostate dissection,” wrote Purchase. “Then high levels of phytoestrogens in Ashby’s laboratory diets were claimed to invalidate the results, but the phytoestrogen levels in the diets employed by vom Saal were higher.” And on it went.
The problem was that those studies either lacked statistical power or had
two research teams, one led by John Ashby, the other by Stuart Cagen, tried to do so. Both failed. Ashby tried to replicate another study claiming that BPA exposure reduced sperm counts in rats; he couldn’t.
methodological problems—such as administering BPA to rodents by injecting it straight into the bloodstream (something every regulatory agency around the world agreed was an inappropriate way to assess risk). And yet, the media, with a few exceptions, stuck to the same alarmist narrative, even when the agency that had funded much of this research—the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences— admitted in 2008 that these studies— the studies that had driven a worldwide panic over BPA—couldn’t be used for human risk assessment.
Making Sense of the Media To give some sense of how asymmetrical the reporting on BPA was, I asked colleagues at George Mason University’s Center for Media and Public Affairs (CMPA) to analyze a specific aspect of the media coverage. Again, it started
The media continues to stick with the same alarmist BPA narrative—even after the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences admitted in 2008 that the studies driving the worldwide panic over BPA couldn’t be used for human risk assessment.
The Purchase paper should have been a warning to journalists covering BPA, but it never made it out of the toxicological community and into the media. Instead, over the next few years, vom OCT/NOV/DEC 2013
The answer was EFSA’s 2006 risk assessment on BPA. It was the most comprehensive review of the science; it was regularly updated to evaluate new research; it was independent, conducted by scientists across the European Union; and, critically, it was conducted under the regulatory burden of the precautionary principle, something environmental activists were urging on the U.S. regulatory system as a way of protecting the public from the potential dangers of chemicals like BPA. EFSA kept finding and explaining why there was no risk to humans or infants at current exposure levels to BPA. The pattern of coverage in the U.S. media might well have been, “never let a good risk assessment get in the way of a good story.” Between January 1, 2006 and May 6, 2011, CMPA found 551 stories on BPA in a sample of the 19 top circulation newspapers in the United States. Just 35—6.4 percent— mentioned EFSA’s risk assessment. A sample of national broadcast news transcripts found 104 stories, just three of which contained references to EFSA. Things might be changing. At this year’s meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), top FDA researchers presented their latest research findings on the chemical. The controversy over BPA has, in fact, stimulated groundbreaking progress in the field of toxicology, and that progress is impossible to ignore. The conclusion, of course, is still the same—the original vom Saal studies cannot be replicated in the most carefully designed study yet to try to do so. There is no evidence that BPA poses a risk to human or fetal health. 22
BPA AND BOTTLED WATER Bottled water is comprehensively regulated as a food product by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Plastic food and beverage containers, including polycarbonate plastic bottles made with bisphenol-A (BPA), must meet or exceed all FDA requirements. FDA approves all food-contact plastics for their intended use based on migration and safety data. The approval process includes stringent requirements for estimating the levels at which such materials may transfer to the diet. FDA’s safety criteria require extensive toxicity testing for any substance that may be ingested at more than negligible levels. That means FDA has affirmatively determined that, when these plastics are used as intended in food-contact applications, the nature and amount of substances that may migrate, if any, are safe. Polycarbonate plastic has been the material of choice for many food and beverage product containers for nearly 50 years because it is lightweight, highly shatterresistant, and transparent. During that time, many international studies have been conducted to assess the potential for trace levels of BPA to migrate from lined cans or polycarbonate bottles into foods or beverages. The conclusions from those studies and comprehensive safety evaluations by government bodies worldwide are that polycarbonate plastic bottles are safe for consumer use.
And, as a reminder of the central importance of numbers in understanding risk, two studies funded by the EPA were also previewed at AAAS. They reviewed the low dose literature that has been powering the controversy and compared the doses administered to every reliably-taken measurement of BPA in human serum from around the world. Turns out, the majority of low doses weren’t low at all. If one cent equalled human exposure, the low doses ran up to 10 billion dollars. Remarkably, this time, the media paid attention.
Trevor Butterworth is a contributor to Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, and many other publications. He is editorat-large for STATS.org, an affiliate of George Mason University that examines the use of statistics in public policy or the media. For more, visit his website: www.trevorbutterworth.com.
with a simple thought experiment: What—amid a squall of claims about the chemical’s safety—would be a critical piece of information that a reader would need to know to make sense of the controversy?
BOTTLED WATER CONTAINERS #1 PET PLASTIC BEVERAGE CONTAINER RECYCLED CURBSIDE NATIONALLY Be part of the solution. Recycle.
35-45% Didn’t Vote for Lawmaker in Office
ER’S MAK LAW
CON STIT UEN CY
40-50% Didn’t Vote
THE POLITICAL PYRAMID
You Never Forget Your First Time How your initial visit to Capitol Hill can change your life
By James Toner, IBWA Director of Government Relations
Visiting Washington, DC, can be a bit intimidating. You see larger-thanlife monuments to larger-than-life historic figures, all in a city that most people consider to be the world headquarters of democracy. As children, many Americans take school field trips to Washington and catch their first glimpse of the U.S. Capitol and the surrounding buildings that house the many lawmakers and staff helping to govern the United States. Whether seen on a school trip or family vacation, on television or in the movies, the shared opinion is that D.C. is an impressive city full of powerful people. Due to the awe-inspiring nature of D.C. and the lawmakers who reside there, it’s no wonder visitors feel intimidated by the idea of meeting with elected officials or their staff. Coming face-to-face with your Congressional representatives can no doubt be overwhelming. When you add to that any anxiety about not knowing “Hill etiquette” or the proper way to communicate your bottled water industry message, it’s no wonder people are hesitant to volunteer to participate in IBWA Capitol Hill visits. But there’s no need to fear. At IBWA, it’s our job to remove any obstacles, whether real or perceived, and give you all the tools and industry information you need for a successful meeting with your elected officials either in Washington, D.C., or back home in your districts. We hear again and again from “beginner lobbyists” how—after they get that first visit under their belts—they walk away from the meeting feeling they understand now how to work within the system and how their individual participation has a positive impact for the entire bottled water industry.
Layers of Influence Why is it so important to meet with legislators and regulators? What can
GOVERNMENT RELATIONS you tell them that they haven’t heard before? Most people underestimate how much information they can impart to their elected officials. People tend to forget that members of Congress see massive amounts of paperwork come across their desks—on many different issues; they can’t be expected to be experts on everything. The knowledge you bring to them about the bottled water industry, your business, and your community has an enormous impact. The importance of a face-to-face meeting can never really be thoroughly expressed. Think of your average lawmaker’s district (city, state, or federal) as a pyramid. The entire pyramid represents all of the people eligible to vote in that lawmaker’s district. When looking at the pyramid, you can immediately eliminate the involvement of 40 to 50 percent because they don’t vote. Of the remaining, remove another 35 to 45 percent because they didn’t vote for that particular lawmaker. What you’re left with is 5 to 25 percent of possible constituents who are involved in the political process. Those individuals at the top of the pyramid have the most influence on decisions made by their elected officials. Does that paint a clearer picture about the importance of participation? As you move up the pyramid, the number of people who have the most influence—or who are willing to educate—elected officials gets smaller and smaller. Where would you place yourself? If you voted for the individual currently holding a seat, believe it or not, you’re already about halfway up the pyramid. Add to that any of your other political activities—volunteering for a campaign, offering a donation, holding a fundraiser, getting others to donate or volunteer— the more you move to the top.
How to Rise Up One of the best things you can do to ensure your elected officials and
THE KNOWLEDGE YOU BRING TO ELECTED OFFICIALS CAN HAVE AN ENORMOUS IMPACT.
their staffs know the truth about bottled water and the bottled water industry is to establish a regular line of communication with them. But to do that, you’ve got to get past that initial meeting. That’s where IBWA can help. IBWA offers members several opportunities throughout the year to meet with their lawmakers in Washington, D.C.; in addition, IBWA staff are available to help you set up in-district meetings with state or other local officials. Coming out the other side from that successful first meeting can greatly change your perception of just how easy this process can be and how quickly you can adapt to this unique opportunity. What’s more, you already have the knowledge you need to achieve that successful meeting because you are the expert about your business and know far more about the bottled water industry than your representative. Once you recognize how your participation can have a positive effect—how you can help educate elected officials about your company and the bottled water industry—any hesitancy about participating in IBWA Capitol Hill visits will disappear. The basis for a solid meeting with your members of Congress is the company and industry knowledge you already possess. And one successful meeting will encourage you to sign up for many more. Just let IBWA know how we can help you schedule that first meeting.
JOIN US ON CAPITOL HILL IBWA would like to encourage members to attend our final Capitol Hill visit of 2013, scheduled for December 11. Numerous debates are still ongoing in Congress, which makes this a vital time for the bottled water industry and our issues. Bottled water professionals have a host of important topics to discuss with lawmakers to help ensure those issues remain priorities for both chambers of Congress: • EPA ENERGY STAR water cooler standards • FDA funding and the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) • Consumer confidence legislation • Pending bisphenol-A (BPA) legislation. This is a unique opportunity to meet face-to-face with your members of Congress. IBWA will set up your appointments, provide you with background information, and even attend meetings with you—whatever you need to make this experience easy and successful. For more information, contact IBWA Director of Government Relations James Toner: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bottled Water: The Package Is the Story By Chris Hogan, IBWA Vice President of Communications
Bottled water products are attacked by a variety of opponents—everyone from environmental groups misguidedly attributing all sorts of global ills to the bottled water industry to facilitators of imagined health scare conspiracies. Among the daily stories, the topic of the plastic bottles used as product containers—whether PET or polycarbonate—invariably comes up. We can all agree that there are important issues surrounding recycling and environmental footprints that should be 26
discussed; however, misinformation still dominates the headlines. The fact remains that the bottled water industry has made, and continues to make, impressive progress concerning its packaging, and that’s a story that needs to be told. Indeed, the story of bottled water packaging is one of action, forward thinking, and future innovation.
Improving the PET Bottle Consumer demand is ever-increasing for bottled water. In fact, Beverage
Marketing Corporation (BMC) reports that in 2012, total U.S. bottled water consumption increased to a record 9.67 billion gallons, up 6.2 percent from 2011. The role that PET plastic bottled water containers play in that growth cannot be understated. More bottled water being consumed means more bottles are out on market shelves, in people’s hands—and ultimately, hopefully, in recycling bins. Here’s another important statistic that isn’t getting enough press: According
COMMUNICATIONS to the National Association for PET Container Resources (NAPCOR), the recycling rate for single-serve PET plastic bottled water containers is now at 38.6 percent—which means it has more than doubled between 2003 and 2011. NAPCOR finds that plastic bottled water containers, which are 100-percent recyclable, are the most frequently recycled PET beverage container in curbside recycling programs. While the recycling rate for bottled water containers is increasing at record pace, the weight of plastic bottled water containers is decreasing. According to the BMC, between 2000 and 2011, the average weight of a 16.9-ounce PET plastic water bottle declined 47.7 percent. That reduction alone has saved a remarkable 3.3 billion pounds of PET resin since 2000. NAPCOR has also reported that 1.5 billion pounds of PET were recycled in 2010, the latest statistics available. PET can be recycled multiple times, and virtually all recycling programs in the United States accept PET containers. Producing new products from recycled PET (rPET) uses two-thirds less energy than what is required to make products from raw virgin materials and using rPET also reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Many bottled water companies have already elected to use up to 50 percent recycled material in their PET plastic bottles. Other important bottled water packaging innovations include smaller caps, less labeling, and reduced packaging for bulk cases.
THE STORY OF BOTTLED WATER PACKAGING IS ONE OF ACTION, FORWARD THINKING, AND FUTURE INNOVATION.
us to remind consumers that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has determined that all plastics used for bottled water containers (PET, HDPE, and polycarbonate) are safe and reliable for food contact use. Although some would oppose the science that shows bisphenol-A (BPA) is a safe chemical compound used in the manufacture of polycarbonate plastic (for more on this, see pages 15 and 19), regulatory agencies in several countries and the FDA have ruled favorably on the safety of BPA. The consensus among these international regulatory agencies is that the current levels of exposure to BPA through food packaging is safe and does not pose a health risk. In fact, On June 4, 2013, the FDA clearly confirmed the safety of BPA, stating that, based on FDA’s ongoing safety review of scientific evidence, the available information continues to support the safety of BPA for the currently approved uses in food containers and packaging.
Safe and Proven Packaging
Thinking Beyond the Container
Many consumers might forget that home and office delivery (HOD) bottled water service providers use what’s known as the “original recycled container.” The 3- and 5-gallon polycarbonate and PET plastic bottled water containers are washed and reused numerous times before being recycled. It is up to
To help increase recycling rates at the community level, IBWA joined forces with the Curbside Value Partnership (CVP), a not-for-profit organization formed to help communities grow and sustain their curbside recycling programs. CVP helps communities increase recycling participation, increase
the tonnage collected in their programs, and measure that growth in order to make better decisions. As part of that partnership, IBWA works with other partner organizations to sponsor local recycling programs in targeted underserved communities. In addition, to encourage a comprehensive approach to effective recycling, IBWA has also developed its Material Recovery Program (MRP), a collaborative new joint venture between businesses and government. The MRP supports the development of new, comprehensive solutions to help manage solid waste in U.S. communities by having all consumer product companies, including bottled water, work together with state and local governments to improve recycling and waste education and collection efforts for all packaged goods. In addition, the industry expects the extended producer responsibility (EPR) concept to expand significantly in the United States in the coming years. As all industries explore additional and more cost-effective ways to increase the recycling rates of all packaging materials and consumer products, the bottled water industry–and particularly IBWA members–now have an opportunity to be significant contributors to this important conversation.
Clean Tech Gives Old Bottles New Life By Tamika Sims, IBWA Director of Science and Research
In its mission statement, IBWA notes its intent “to serve the members and the public by . . . promoting an environmentally responsible and sustainable industry.” One way IBWA works to achieve that mission is by helping members keep current with the environmental challenges facing the bottled water industry. To that end, IBWA’s Environmental Sustainability Committee recently arranged a plant tour of Clean Tech Incorporated, a recycling facility located in Dundee, Michigan. Recycling facilities are an important partner of the bottled water industry: they need our empty product containers, and we need their end product—recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET). The objective of this tour was to inform participants about the process of reclaiming post-consumer plastics and investigate how recycling improves bottled water industry sustainability efforts by not only keeping plastics out of the landfills but also helping us create new products from the recycled content. 28
Clean Tech, IBWA member Plastipak’s recycling affiliate, was founded in 1989 to reclaim the plastic in bottled water containers and other post-consumer packaging. The facility recycles more than 3 billion bottles per year. Clean Tech is the only integrated bottle producer that produces both high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and PET recycled resin. The rPET Clean Tech produces can be used for food/ beverage packaging; the rHDPE can be used for soap and detergent bottles. Attendees heard from Jim Kulp, Clean Tech’s operations manager, whose talk focused on PET recycling. He discussed how Clean Tech collects containers from both bottle deposit programs and curbside pick-up programs. According to Clean Tech, it minimalizes its environmental footprint by obtaining its PET and HDPE bales mainly from the Midwest and east of the Mississippi— rather than source product from overseas as some recyclers do. Other collection points include Texas, Colorado, Iowa, Arizona, and California.
The Process Once Clean Tech receives its PET bales, the next step is to de-bale and prewash the containers. That step uses a surfactant to prewash the bottles, which removes 85 percent of the labels on the bottles. Afterwards, the bottles are sorted—a process that includes removal of more label material and wet grinding. The next three steps include a cleaning process, metal detection, and a second sorting—this time optical sorting, which reflects light off a bottle using a simple photodetector to accept or reject the item depending on how reflective it is (light or dark). Lastly, the material undergoes extrusion (a melting process) and either a solid state polymerization (SSP) or decontamination pelletization. SSP produces a final product with a higher intrinsic viscosity (IV)—which can be used for rPET bottles containing carbonated drinks and mineral water; decontamination pelletization produces post-consumer recycled (PCR) resin pellets—which are used for bottled water containers. Once the pellets are
made, they are inspected for IV status and contaminants before being shipped out to customers.
Recycling Obstacles Kulp informed tour participants that only about 68 percent of a PET bale is actually usable, and that number has declined 2 to 3 percent in the past three years. Some of the obstacles to collecting high-grade PET and producing quality rPET include the following: • Polyethylene terephthalate glycolmodified (PETG) bottles, which are very similar to PET, have a lower melting point than PET and can lead to clumping and issues with crystallization of the PET. Those bottles and PET bottles shrink wrapped in PETG have become popular on the market, so recyclers need to work with producers to find the best ways to recycle them. Both Kulp and the National Association for PET Container Resources (NAPCOR) are advocates for encouraging container producers to “design with recycling in mind.” In its sorting process, Clean Tech uses laser technology for material fingerprinting, and near-infrared material scanning is efficient at removing PETG and polyvinyl chloride (PVC). • While bottle lightweighting is a good thing because it decreases the amount of PET needed to produce new bottles, it also increases the number of bottles needed to make a set poundage for a PET bale. • Degradable additives are a concern for the bottled water and recycling industries because many believe that the effects of those additives to the waste and recycle stream are, as yet, unknown—thus, their influence on rPET production is also unknown. • Other issues that influence PET recyclability include items that don’t separate easily from the PET
CLEAN TECH RECYCLES MORE THAN 3 BILLION BOTTLES PER YEAR. containers—e.g., barriers, label substrates, and colorants.
Moving Forward According to NAPCOR, the total number of PET bottles collected and sold for recycling in 2011 (the latest numbers available) was 1,604 million pounds; however, the total number
TECHNICAL UPDATE of bottles available for recycling totaled 5,478 million pounds. That yields a gross recycling rate of 29.3 percent, only up 0.2 percent from 2010. The availability of recycled content factors into the dilemma of recovering PET for recycling facilities, such as Clean Tech, to produce rPET. So, obviously, there’s room for improvement. Through its educational programs and plant tours, IBWA’s staff hopes to encourage members to spread the word to their customers about the importance of recycling. In addition, the knowledge gleaned by members from participating in these programs can ultimately help them define operational procedures and practices that will enhance the bottled water industry’s overall environmental sustainability performance.
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certified plant operators (CPOs) are encouraged to complete the following quiz for ½ IBWA continuing education unit (CEU). The questions are derived from material presented in this issue of the Bottled Water Reporter, the IBWA Plant Technical Reference Manual, and the IBWA Bottled Water Code of Practice. Submit this quiz to Claire Crane, IBWA Education and Technical Program Coordinator, 1700 Diagonal Road, Suite 650, Alexandria, VA 22134. Look for additional quizzes in future issues and earn additional IBWA CEUs! Name______________________________________________________ Company__________________________________________________ Address____________________________________________________ City_______________________________________________________ State/Province______________________________________________
Check your selection for each question
_____ means bottled water that, after treatment and possible replacement of carbon dioxide, contains the same amount of carbon dioxide that it had at the emergence from the source.
OO OO OO OO
Club soda Sparkling bottled water Spring water Tonic water
FDA’s current good manufacturing practices for bottled water are found at _____.
OO OO OO OO
21 CFR 120 40 CFR 141 21 CFR 129 21 CFR 165.110
The following is a valid spring water treatment process: Untreated spring water → 0.5 um filtration → Mineral addition → UV light → Ozone → Filler
OO True OO False
Under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), HACCP is referred to as _____.
OO OO OO OO
HACCP risk-based preventive controls environmental monitoring risk assessment
Food (including bottled water) hygiene standards for international trade are established by _____.
OO OO OO OO
ISO Codex Alimentarius Commission GFSI ANSI
In the IBWA Bottled Water Code of Practice, the IBWA SOQ for TTHMs is _____ due to a state standard enforced in _____.
OO OO OO OO
0.08 ppm / New York 0.08 ppm/ New Jersey 0.01 ppm / Iowa 0.01 ppm / California
If a finished bottled water product exceeds the FDA standard of quality for a regulated contaminant, a _____ is required.
OO OO OO OO
Reduced price Label statement Recall Possibly both label statement and recall
Which of the following is considered an inert (non-reactive) gas?
OO OO OO OO
Nitrogen Carbon dioxide Hydrogen Oxygen
A bacterial genus suitable for environmental monitoring programs at bottled water plants might be _____.
OO OO OO OO
Clostridium Escherichia Salmonella Shigella
Which of the following is not considered a necessary part of evaluating the suitability of a new water source?
OO A report of economic conditions in the area surrounding the source, including median income of the population OO A report on the regional geology surrounding the site OO A report detailing the development of the source OO A watershed survey of the recharge area or zone of influence of the source
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WATERS-DORSEY DESIGNS PO Box 16310, Bldg 11 Bristol, VA 24209 Telephone: 276.669.6062 Primary Representative: Gary Waters Fax: 914.909.6344
CALENDAR 2013 OCTOBER 11
Southeastern Bottled Water Association Board of Directors Meeting & Fall Education Session/Plant Tour Callaway Blue Spring Water Hamilton, Georgia
Central States Bottled Water Association Fall Educational Conference Ameristar Casino Hotel Kansas City, MO
Analytical Technology, Inc.. . . . . . . . . www.analyticaltechnology.com . . . . . . . C3 Blackhawk Molding Co.. . . . . . . . . . . www.blackhawkmolding.com . . . . . . . C2 Hydro-Environmental Associates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 Pacific Ozone Technology . . . . . . . . . www.pacificozone.com . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Polymer Solutions International . . . . . www.prostack.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Steelhead. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.steelheadinc.com . . . . . . . . . . . BC Quality Truck Company . . . . . . . . . . . www.qualitytruckcompany.com . . . . . . . 9
Mid-America Bottled Water Association Board of Directors Meeting Hyatt Place Dallas North by the Galleria Dallas, Texas
NOVEMBER 11 - 15
IBWA Annual Business Conference and Trade Show Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center Nashville, Tennessee co-location with NAMA’s CoffeeTea&Water event
CALENDAR 2014 FEBRUARY 4 - 6
IBWA Winter Board of Directors and Committee Meetings Hyatt Regency Long Beach Long Beach, California
MARCH 27 - 29
South Atlantic Bottled Water Association Annual Meeting and Trade Show Pawleys Island, SC
APRIL 9 - 11
Mark Your Calendars Now! November 11-15, 2013 Join us in Nashville, TN for the
2013 IBWA ANNUAL BUSINESS CONFERENCE AND TRADE SHOW
at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center / co-location with NAMA’s CoffeeTea&Water event
Central States Bottled Water Association 6th Annual Convention and Trade Show Ameristar Casino Resort Spa St. Charles, MO
Northwest Bottled Water Association Convention & Trade Show Red Lion at the Park Hotel Spokane, Washington
MAY 19 - 21
California Bottled Water Association Annual Educational Conference and Tabletop Trade Show San Diego, CA
JUNE 9 - 12
IBWA June Board of Directors and Committee Meetings Hilton Alexandria Old Town Alexandria, Virginia
VALUE OF IBWA MEMBERSHIP RICHARD ROUILLARD PRESIDENT AND CEO SEMOPAC MONTREAL | CANADA ALL ABOUT RICHARD Richard graduated from McGill University in Montreal, Canada, and is trained as a hydrologist. When not working, he likes to travel overseas or go hiking in the Adirondacks or Eastern Townships of Quebec. An avid runner, Richard jogs for 45 minutes everyday.
Make no mistake, Richard Rouillard knows a thing or two about bottled water. The Semopac president and CEO has decades of industry experience, which has taken him all across the globe—working as a bottled water consultant in more than 50 countries, contributing to 30 home and office delivery (HOD) startups in North America and Europe, and having owned both HOD and small-pack private label bottled water businesses. Currently, Richard is in his fifth year leading Semopac, a major supplier of quality 3- and 5-gallon returnable bottles for the HOD industry, and he also owns a plastic rack manufacturing company and a business development and marketing business. When asked what surprises him about the bottled water industry, there’s no hesitation in his reply: “How resilient the industry is. That despite adverse attacks by activist groups that get repeated by the media and politicians, the industry continues to grow.” Richard attributes the industry’s resiliency, in part, to IBWA’s efforts to counter those attacks, but he gives the most credit to the fact that the industry provides a product that is relevant to consumers. “It continues to be the beverage of choice,” says Richard, “despite all the bad-mouthing that gets repeated in the media.” Throughout the years, Richard says Semopac has reaped many rewards from its IBWA membership, the most important of which has been attending IBWA’s thrice yearly business meetings. “This is extremely valuable, especially for us suppliers. It offers a chance to talk to the decision makers, to share our views, and to spread our messages,” he says. “It’s also a great way to stay on top of political and technical challenges. By attending these meetings, my company is exposed to challenges and issues that bottler members have to face.” Richard adds that he especially values the association’s weekly newsletter, IBWA News Splash, where he can get “a ton of industry updates and information all one place.” Richard views IBWA as a communication channel that helps to tell the industry’s story to both the public and the government. “It’s our voice, and the stronger the membership, the stronger IBWA will be and the stronger our message will be.” Semopac is a family-owned business that originated in France. In recent years, the business has enjoyed a number of innovation successes: eliminating cardboard in packaging 5-gallon bottles, introducing transportation racks made from 100 percent recycled plastic, and introducing a bottle leasing and financing program. More recently, the business has introduced a closed-loop recycling program that involves using recycled or re-engineered polycarbonate to make 3- and 5-gallon bottles that meet all of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s standards for food-grade application.
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