Bottled Water Reporter (September/October 2021)

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IN THIS ISSUE When Is Why Plant Tours How to Use IBWA's Environmental Are Our Best Social Media Toolkits Benchmarking Advocacy Tool Necessary?





Also Inside:


VOL. 61 • NO. 5


28 | Advocacy Best Practices: Why Plant Tours Are Our Best Educational Tool A case study highlights how plant tours provide the insight policymakers need to make informed decisions. COMMUNICATIONS

30 | How to Use IBWA’s Monthly Social Media Toolkit Social media plays a vital role in educating consumers about your business and bottled water issues. TECHNICAL UPDATE

32 | IBWA Partners With BIER on 2021 Water, Energy, and Emissions Benchmarking Study Benchmarking provides a baseline to measure future progress in industry’s water and energy use and conservation efforts. BY THE NUMBERS

36 | Hydrate the States Statistics and facts from IBWA’s latest advocacy campaign highlighting the bottled water industry’s minimal water use.

TABLE OF CONTENTS 10 | Connect With Consumers Where They Are

CHAIRMAN'S COMMENTARY ...............................2 PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE ......................................4

The way consumers make purchasing decisions is rapidly evolving due to the economic and social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. To meet the needs of today’s consumers, bottled water companies must reimagine their marketing efforts. By Christine Umbrell

WATER NOTES ....................................................6

17 | Making the Leap From Plant Worker to Plant Manager

CALENDAR .......................................................35

The job of a bottled water plant manager isn’t easy. It requires the usual characteristics of a manager—like good communications and people skills—along with a lot of technical knowledge about how to run a plant. In this article, IBWA certified plant operators provide insight into what it really takes to lead a successful bottled water team. By Chris Torres

23 | Explore – Learn - Navigate

IBWA’s conference education program will help you traverse the current business landscape

IBWA has an exciting lineup of education sessions planned for the 2021 Annual Business Conference, being held virtually November 8-11. Each session will address an issue that’s at the forefront of business today—such as, supply chain issues; cybersecurity; extended producer responsibility legislation; bottled water sales trends; diversity, equity, and more!

CPO QUIZ .........................................................34 ADVERTISERS ...................................................35


BOTTLED WATER REPORTER, Volume 61, Number 5. 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, 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.


I’m honored to take up the gavel and begin my term as your IBWA Chairman. I’ve taken on this role a little earlier than planned, due to the departure of my predecessor, Tara Carraro, whom I’d like to thank for her steady guidance of the Association during the first half of 2021. As I begin my tenure as your Chairman, I’d like to note that the unprecedented times we are living through present many challenges, but great opportunities also lie before us—and I’m excited about the future of this Association and the entire Bottled Water industry. If I haven’t yet had the pleasure of meeting you, here’s what you need to know about me. I’ve worked in the Bottled Water industry for almost 33 years. I grew up helping my father John with different jobs around a Culligan dealership in Iowa and officially began my career as a full-time “Culligan Man” in 1988. This year, we are opening our tenth 5-gallon bottling plant. Before I became a member of IBWA’s Board of Directors and Executive Committee, I was an IBWA Bottler member, and I value the education this Association provided me. I personally know that IBWA’s protocols, procedures, and resources can help ensure that a Bottled Water facility runs properly and safely. We are a small, but mighty, Association, so we must prioritize our resources of time, treasure, and talent to help ensure the viability of the Bottled Water industry. We are opposed daily on many fronts by people and organizations that do not understand how our industry is run and regulated. IBWA does a fantastic job of advocating on behalf of the Bottled Water industry and ensuring we members are armed with muchneeded Technical Education, Government Relations, and Communication resources. Because Education is very important to me, I’m excited about the upcoming IBWA Annual Business Conference. As we go to press, we are finalizing our plans for this year's virtual conference, but one thing we know for sure: It’s important that IBWA provides real take-home value to our conference attendees. After reviewing the conference education sessions in this issue of Bottled Water Reporter (starting on p.23), I have no doubt that you will get great return on your investment. Attending IBWA’s 2021 conference will offer you time to focus on the needs of your business and your customers. IBWA wants to make this an educational—and motivating—conference experience for you. I’m looking forward to connecting with you during the conference—and continuing the work of IBWA. I’m honored to be a part of an Association with members like you—dedicated industry professionals who are committed to providing our customers with safe, quality, convenient, and refreshing Bottled Water products.



International Bottled Water Association OFFICERS Chairman C.R. Hall, Hall's Culligan Vice Chair Vacant Treasurer Brian Hess, Niagara Bottling LLC Immediate Past Chairman Robert Smith, Grand Springs Distribution

BOARD OF DIRECTORS Shayron Barnes-Selby, Primo Water North America Joe Bell, Aqua Filter Fresh, Inc. Philippe Caradec, Danone Waters of America Doug Hidding, Blackhawk Molding Co. Dan Kelly, Polymer Solutions International Kari Mondt, QCS Purchasing Jillian Olsen, Cherry Ridge Consulting LLC David Redick, Steelhead, Inc. Lynn Wachtmann, Maumee Valley Bottlers, Inc. Brad Wester, Premium Waters, Inc. William Patrick Young, Absopure Water Co., Inc.

IBWA EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Chairman C.R. Hall, Hall's Culligan Joe Bell, Aqua Filter Fresh, Inc. Philippe Caradec, Danone Waters of America Brian Hess, Niagara Bottling LLC Henry R. Hidell, III, Hidell International Dan Kelly, Polymer Solutions International Robert Smith, Grand Springs Distribution William Patrick Young, Absopure Water Co., Inc. Lynn Wachtmann, Maumee Valley Bottlers, Inc.

COMMITTEE CHAIRS Communications Committee Julia Buchanan, Niagara Bottling, LLC Maureen Hendrix, Primo Water North America Education Committee Glen Davis, Absopure Water Co., Inc. Douglas R. Hupe, Aqua Filter Fresh Environmental Sustainability Committee John Cook, Niagara Bottling LLC Government Relations Committee Viola Johnson Jacobs, Primo Water North America Derieth Sutton, Niagara Bottling LLC. Membership Committee Marge Eggie, Polymer Solutions International Kelley Goshay, Primo Water North America State and Regional Associations Committee Robert Smith, Grand Springs Distribution Supplier and Convention Committee Joe Bell, Aqua Filter Fresh, Inc. Dan Kelly, Polymer Solutions International Technical Committee Glen Davis, Absopure Water Co., Inc. Ryan Schwaner, Niagara Bottling, LLC

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE CONNECTING WITH CUSTOMERS AND INDUSTRY PEERS I’m not the first to say that to prosper in these uncertain times you must be resilient. Of course, the bottled water industry knows a thing or two about how to adapt during chaotic times. Being dependable during a crisis is part of our DNA—and the preparations we make to ensure bottled water is available to survivors of natural and manmade disasters has helped us effectively navigate our current working environment. As we were finalizing this issue, the IBWA Board of Directors decided to hold the 2021 Annual Business Conference virtually. The safety of our members, presenters, exhibitors, and staff is of the upmost importance to us, so that decision was made after assessing the recent COVID-19 data. We already have an exceptional lineup of education sessions planned, and you can read all about them on p.23. For the latest conference updates, please visit In this issue’s cover story, “Connect With Consumers Where They Are” (p.10), we discuss the impact the pandemic is having on the way consumers make purchasing decisions. COVID-19 has propelled consumers toward more online shopping and more bulk purchases. The impact has been so great that experts are recommending that companies “re-strategize their marketing efforts” to ensure they meet the evolving needs of today’s consumers. Our second feature transitions from the issue of marketing to tackle an important management topic for the bottled water industry: What does it take to become a plant manager? Unlike some businesses, where an outsider can be brought in without much industry experience and have a successful career, a bottled water plant manager is usually promoted within. In “Making the Leap From Plant Worker to Plant Manager” (p.17), we interview current plant managers for insight into the technical and emotional intelligence skillsets required to take on the demanding position of a plant manager. The columns in this issue cover a variety of topics of interest to IBWA members. The Government Relations column (p.28) explains why plant tours are our best tool to educate legislators and regulators. In the Communications column (p.30), we review another educational tool IBWA offers members: our monthly social media toolkits. And the Technical Update column (p.32) highlights the importance of benchmarking environmental sustainability practices and discusses IBWA’s participation in the Beverage Industry Environmental Roundtable’s (BIER) 2021 Global Benchmarking study. Regardless of whether we meet virtually or in person, I and the entire IBWA staff look forward to putting on a conference that will prepare our members to continue the great work of this association and the bottled water industry. We’re adept at acclimating, so I’m sure that together we can make it a productive experience for every attendee.


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

IBWA STAFF President Joe Doss Senior Vice President of Education, Science, and Technical Relations Robert R. Hirst Vice President of Communications Jill Culora Vice President of Government Relations Cory Martin Director of Conventions, Trade Shows, and Meetings Michele Campbell Director of Government Relations J.P. Toner Director of Science and Research Al Lear Director of Communications Sabrina E. Hicks Manager of Member Services Cheryl Bass Communications Coordinator Chris Torres Education and Technical Programs Coordinator Linda Amar Executive Assistant Vacant Bottled Water Reporter Layout and Design Rose McLeod Tel: 315.447.4385 Editor Sabrina E. Hicks Advertising Sales Stephanie Schaefer


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Senate Passes Massive Infrastructure Package, Includes Recycling Infrastructure Improvements IBWA, as part of the Recycling Infrastructure Now (RIN) coalition, has been working to include provisions in the U.S. Senate’s bipartisan infrastructure package to improve recycling infrastructure and education to consumers. The legislation, which passed out of the Senate on August 10, includes provisions for allocating funds to improve the resiliency of waste management. Specifically, the proposed legislation will include $75 million ($15 million a year over the next five years) for RECYCLE Act grants to educate consumers and $275 million for Save Our Seas 2.0 Section 302 grants (over five years) for municipalities to expand their recycling systems. The latter includes funding to support improvements to local post-consumer materials management, including municipal recycling programs, and assist local waste management authorities in making improvements to recycling systems. The RIN coalition released the following statement in support of the inclusion of those provisions: 6 • BWR • WWW.BOTTLEDWATER.ORG

“The Recycling Infrastructure Now Coalition commends members of the bipartisan working group for recognizing the importance of including improvements to the nation’s recycling infrastructure in the bipartisan infrastructure deal. The coalition applauds senators for including funding that will help municipal recycling programs educate consumers on how best to recycle as well as grants for municipalities to expand their recycling systems. We encourage lawmakers to act quickly to pass this bipartisan package as it is an important step in moving to a more circular economy. We look forward to working with members of both the House and Senate to make that happen.” As of press time, the legislation is headed to the House of Representatives. For more information on this issue, please contact IBWA Vice President of Government Relations Cory Martin:



IBWA Bottler Hosts Rep. Stevens, Discusses Recycling and Plastics Innovation IBWA bottler member Absopure Water Company, along with its partners Plastipak Packaging and Clean Tech Incorporated, welcomed Congresswoman Haley Stevens (D-MI) to their facilities last week to discuss innovations related to plastics and recycling. Rep. Stevens, chairwoman of the House Science Subcommittee on Research and Technology, recently introduced the “Plastic Waste Reduction and Recycling Research Act,” a bill focusing on the management of plastic waste, recycling technologies, and U.S. global competitiveness in the plastics recycling industry. The group discussed the bottle-to-bottle recycling employed by Absopure, with help from Plastipak’s innovation and Clean Tech’s advanced recycling technologies. Left to right: William C. Young (Plastipak Packaging), William P. Young (Absopure For example, Absopure’s “ECO-PAK” water Water), Rep. Haley Stevens, Jack Pacente (Plastipak Packaging), Frank Zolenski bottles are made using recycled bottles. (Absopure Water), and Glen Davis (Absopure Water) Plastic bottle innovations were also discussed, including Direct Object Printing (DOP), technology that places container graphics directly on the bottle with no label substrates or glues and is fully compatible with existing recycling systems. Learn about the benefits of hosting elected officials at your plant by reading the Government Relations column on p.28.

Left to right: Amy Morgan (TABB Packaging), Bob Jurcago (Wm. P. Young Co.), Congresswoman Haley Stevens receives a freshly Ron Uptergrove (with back to camera, Plastipak Packaging), Bill Young decorated bottle commemorating her visit. (Absopure Water), and Congresswoman Haley Stevens

SEP/OCT 2021 • BWR • 7



California Takes Action on Drought On August 3, the California State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) adopted an emergency regulation that will authorize SWRCB to issue orders curtailing water diversions and requiring additional water use reporting throughout the SacramentoSan Joaquin Delta Watershed. The regulation must first be approved by the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) before it becomes effective and before curtailment/reporting orders can be issued by SWRCB. A few procedural regulatory approvals must occur prior to implementing the Emergency Regulations; however, SWCRB may be able to issue curtailment orders as soon as August 16, 2021. The Emergency Regulations only apply to surface flow diversions, so anyone sourcing water supplies from municipal or groundwater sources will not be immediately impacted by the Emergency Regulations. For those that source water supplies from Delta Watershed surface flow diversions, their ability to divert water from the Delta Watershed may be restricted. Follow the actions of SWRCB at

LA City Council Contemplates Moving Up Start Date of Legislation That Includes Bottled Water Ban IBWA has provided the Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation with information about bottled water and the impact of banning single-use plastic water bottles from city property and events. IBWA’s comments are part of a final report by several city departments that are examining access to municipal water. The report was requested by the LA City Council, as some members want to move up the start date of legislation, initially passed in 2018, that removes single-use plastic water bottles from city property and events by 2028. Some Council members want a ban implemented as soon as possible. In its comments, IBWA expressed concerns about the ban, as well as the actual environmental impact of plastic water bottles versus other materials. IBWA members can contact staff for a copy of IBWA’s comments.

Connecticut DEEP Holds First Workshop on Bottled Bill Update Late in its 2021 session, Connecticut’s General Assembly approved legislation that will increase the deposit from 5 cents to 10 cents beginning January 1, 2024. It will also increase handling fees, allow for manufacturers to retain a portion of unclaimed deposits, expand the program, and start the process of moving the system toward a stewardship program. The state’s bottle bill modernization stakeholders group met on August 9 to review the changes planned for the bottle deposit program—and it is looking at Oregon’s program as a template. Connecticut’s current plans include the formation of a beverage container stewardship organization, which will be of interest to the bottled water industry. The state’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) accepted comments on the stakeholder process and implementation of the new act’s provisions until August 27.



Maine Recycled Content Mandate Bill Stalls, EPR Measure Becomes Law Legislation that would have required the use of recycled content in plastic beverage containers failed to gain final support as the Maine Legislature wrapped up its 2021 session. Although LD 1467 was approved by both chambers, it failed to garner appropriations support. The bill would have established a recycled content mandate for plastic beverage containers starting at 25 percent in 2026, increasing to 30 percent in 2031. The measure will now carry over into the 2022 session, and there’s little insight into whether the bill will see additional action. Environmental groups pushed for passage of LD 1467 earlier in the session; however, they ultimately put their political clout behind the passage of LD 1541, the state’s extended producer responsibility (EPR) measure. The focus of that proposal, including the fiscal impact that would be imposed on the state, swayed lawmakers to move on financing the larger EPR bill instead of the recycled content legislation. Governor Janet Mills (D) signed LD 1541 on July 12, making Maine the first state in the nation to approve a comprehensive EPR program.

New Hampshire DHHS Announces Rulemaking for PFAS and MtBE in Bottled Water New Hampshire’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is contemplating new regulations that would require producers or distributors of bottled water in the state to test for specific contaminants that are currently not required by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). DHHS’s rulemaking specifically addresses methyl tertiary-butyl ether (MtBE) and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contaminants. IBWA met virtually with DHHS to explain our concerns regarding its plans. IBWA supports uniformity of beverage regulations at the federal level and opposes any proposal that varies from FDA. Although neither FDA nor EPA have set an MtBE standard, New Hampshire’s drinking water maximum contaminant level (MCL) for MtBE is 0.013 mg/L. IBWA has set an SOQ of 0.07 mg/L. The state's drinking water MCLs for PFAS are higher than IBWA’s current testing standards of 5 parts per trillion (ppt) for one PFAS and 10 ppt for more than one PFAS.


Bottled Water Reporter Magazine Earns “Publication Excellence” Award

Communications Concepts has announced that IBWA’s bimonthly magazine, Bottled Water Reporter (BWR), won a 2021 APEX Award for Publication Excellence. BWR earned the distinction in the competition’s “Magazines, entire issue – up to 32 pages plus cover” category. The APEX judging panel reviewed the January/February 2021 edition of BWR, which was this year’s “Healthy Hydration” issue. The awards program received nearly 1,200 entries in the competition’s 13 categories, and winners were selected based on “excellence in graphic design, editorial content, and the ability to achieve overall communications excellence.” This year’s competition was noted for its “exceptional high level of quality” entrants, with the judges commenting that selecting award winners was a “truly challenging” task. Award of Excellence winners receive an APEX certificate suitable for framing and are encouraged to display the APEX logo on their websites and publications. Interested in advertising in BWR? Contact IBWA’s Advertising Account Manager Stephanie Reyna: stephanie@

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CONNECT WITH CONSUMERS WHERE THEY ARE Consumer purchasing behaviors are evolving— your marketing efforts should too By Christine Umbrell

The way consumers make purchasing decisions is rapidly evolving due to the economic and social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. To meet the needs of today’s consumers, bottled water companies must reimagine their marketing efforts. Like it or not, COVID-19 has spurred consumers to adapt their purchasing practices in many ways. From more frequent online shopping to more intentional decisionmaking concerning the brands they choose to do business with, today’s consumers are more complex—and they require thoughtful attention from companies seeking to win their business. It’s time to “re-strategize your marketing efforts,” says George Kuhn, president of Drive Research ( “The way people interact with businesses has changed. Be smart about how you market your products and services.” Being “smart” involves understanding your customers and their shifting priorities, adapting distribution and messaging for online and in-store purchasing, and paying close attention to pricing. 10 • BWR • WWW.BOTTLEDWATER.ORG

The Evolution of Bottled Water Consumers “The COVID-19 pandemic changed every aspect of the way we lived,” explains Kuhn. “It changed how people worked, shopped, learned, socialized, and more.” While increasing vaccination rates may make it easier for many people to leave their homes again, “there are a few trends as a result of COVID-19 that will last forever,” Kuhn says, pointing to “innovation” as the key driver behind those trends. Some of the most important innovations impacting consumer behavior include the convenience of online shopping, at-home delivery services, and curbside pickup. “While these trends existed pre-pandemic,” explain Kuhn, “no one was necessarily forced to use them. Traditionalists preferred to grocery shop in-person, visit their bank to make a deposit, or go to the mall to buy holiday presents.” But social distancing protocols and fear of catching COVID-19 led shoppers to embrace new convenience-focused shopping behaviors. “Consumers quickly became

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Bottlers that use their marketing to share a message of ease and convenience stand to gain customers and boost loyalty in the long run. used to having access to everything at their fingertips,” he says. “As a result, there is an expectation that this type of innovation will continue post-pandemic.” “All consumers, even those who were not comfortable before with online shopping, have learned to embrace it,” agrees Vicki Morwitz, MA, a professor of business and marketing at Columbia Business School, Columbia University. “Even for products that consumers in the past associated with in-store buying, we will likely continue to see more online purchasing—even when the pandemic ends, because of the change in consumer behavior.” For bottlers, that means many products typically offered in brick-and-mortar stores should also be available on easy-to-navigate company websites. Kuhn’s and Morwitz’s assertion that consumers appreciate easy access to their preferred products is reinforced by a new report from Accenture, “Life Reimagined: Mapping the Motivations That Matter for Today’s Consumers” ( Shoppers now expect companies to meet them at their convenience—in the digital world, in the physical world, and through a blend of both. Consumers seek “everywhere commerce” and are willing to switch providers if they find it easier to access products from an alternate company, according to Accenture. In addition, Accenture’s data shows that a majority say they would switch brands if a company doesn’t create clear and easy options for contacting customer service or provide clear responses about service issues related to the pandemic or economic/societal issues. And 57 percent of “reimagined consumers”—consumers who say the pandemic caused them to rethink their personal purpose and re-evaluate what’s important—would switch retailers if they were not offered new, fast, and flexible delivery options. Consumers are now drawn to companies with quick delivery services, agrees Kuhn, with many willing to pay more for same-day delivery. “Bottled water companies need to prepare themselves for the upcoming transformation and adapt their existing services accordingly,” he notes. “Fortunately, with various platforms and automated systems, the 12 • BWR • WWW.BOTTLEDWATER.ORG

option to provide same-day delivery is far more accessible than most companies believe.” Bottled water executives should leverage all of this information to make their products more accessible, both online and in-store, and expand their delivery options. Bottlers that share their message of ease and convenience through marketing stand to gain customers and boost loyalty in the long run. Bottlers also will need to promote their enhanced online services, says Kuhn. “After having a process in-place for fast delivery services, it is a component that should be featured on all marketing materials—website, emails, paid advertisements, etc.,” he says. “It could be the reason commercial or residential customers choose your bottled water company over a competitor.”

New In-Store Purchasing Habits Consumers adapted their in-person shopping habits during the pandemic, which has repercussions for how bottled water companies package and promote their products. For safety reasons, “consumers made fewer shopping trips—but

Drive Research shows that 41 percent of people are visiting grocery stores less often—and making fewer trips means purchasing items in bulk.



therefore bought more on each trip,” Morwitz says. “This pattern may persist even if safety concerns reduce over time.” Many consumers chose to shop at stores closer to their homes beginning in 2020—for budgetary and safety reasons—and Morwitz suggests that behavior may persist too. Kuhn’s studies identified similar results: “From our survey research with national brands, we’ve found 41 percent of people are visiting the grocery store less often due to COVID,” he says ( Interestingly, not only are consumers making fewer trips to shop inside a store (thanks to more online shopping and curbside pickup) but also they are spending less time in the store. Kuhn explains: “Even when people are grocery shopping in-person, they are spending less time in the store and buying more in bulk because of the fewer visits. As a result, many of our brand-tracking studies for consumerpackaged goods clients saw a dip in brand awareness and exposure. With people wanting to spend less time in store, it cuts down on shoppers scanning the aisles for new brands or exploring other options.” And those stores that consumers are spending less time in, they are located closer to home, a byproduct of more U.S. workers working remotely. That impacts how and when they shop, says Morwitz. During the early days of the pandemic, “many consumers worked from home … and came to appreciate the benefits of doing so,” Morwitz explains. “Many firms also realized that [staff working remotely] did not have an adverse effect on worker productivity—and, in some cases, productivity increased.” Thus, she believes the workfrom-home trend will likely persist to some degree after the pandemic. “It will affect retailers and products that consumers tended to buy and eat/drink at or near the workplace,” Morwitz says. “It may also lead to a greater need for those same offerings closer to residential areas.” For bottled water companies, those shifts mean companies should stock the shelves of busy stores in highly trafficked areas—focusing on residential, and not just commercial, neighborhoods. Companies that offer larger, bulk-size products may see greater interest from shoppers who prefer fewer trips to the store. The experts interviewed for this article anticipate expansion in the residential market for bottlers that deliver 5-gallon jugs, suggesting they don’t rely too heavily on office deliveries.

Emphasizing a Healthy Lifestyle In addition to specific purchasing habits, bottlers should be aware of a shift in consumer priorities. Among the


Accenture data shows that 63 percent of their survey respondents state it’s crucial for companies to actively promote healthy practices… and 65 percent are attracted to doing business with brands that are environmentally friendly and invest in sustainability.


reimagined consumers identified in the Accenture report, health and safety have taken on greater significance, with 63 percent stating it’s crucial for companies to actively promote healthy practices. Half of consumers also say that the pandemic caused them to rethink their personal purpose and re-evaluate what’s important, and they have adjusted their buying habits accordingly, say Accenture experts. Seventy-two percent of reimagined consumers expect companies they’re doing business with to understand and address how their needs and objectives change during times of disruption, according to Accenture. Consumers want to feel good about their choice of products and are looking for signs that companies have integrity and are aligned with their values. They want their suppliers to take visible actions to have a positive societal impact and strong ethical values. In addition, 65 percent of reimagined consumers from Accenture’s survey are attracted to doing business with brands that are environmentally friendly and invest in sustainability. Kuhn agrees with that assessment, adding the insight that consumers also expect more empathy from the brands SEP/OCT 2021 • BWR • 13

Brand empathy involves a deeper connection with customers that helps them trust your brand, products, and services. they choose to purchase from. He cites a recent Salesforce Research study that found 68 percent of customers expect brands to demonstrate empathy—even though only 37 percent of customers believe brands are successful at it ( “Brand empathy requires companies to make a conscious effort to interact with customers at every step of their journey,” Kuhn explains. “It involves a deeper connection that helps customers trust your brand, products, and services.” Morwitz and Kuhn note that pandemic living has shifted consumption habits in important ways. Some Americans chose to buy more fresh and local produce, says Kuhn. In addition, Morwitz highlights the fact that, once consumers got accustomed to eating, cooking, and exercising at home, "they appreciated the health benefits of doing so.” She believes many consumers will continue to focus on health values now that it has become habit. Given those trends, bottled water companies can adjust their marketing efforts to promote the healthy aspects of drinking water, their companies’ dedication to healthy values, and their commitment to responsive customer service. “During the pandemic, consumers lived a different life, one that was slower, and that was more focused on home and family life and values,” explains Morwitz. Creating advertising that demonstrates the benefits of choosing water as a top beverage choice may resonate with Americans in 2022 and beyond.

Recognizing Budgetary Concerns Although consumers are focused on healthy living, that doesn’t mean that cost no longer matters. Many Americans are facing tough budgetary constraints. Kuhn’s research found that more consumers are clipping and 14 • BWR • WWW.BOTTLEDWATER.ORG

using coupons, and choosing a product because of a good coupon ( Morwitz notes that consumers’ “price consciousness” may continue for many years, as people may have learned it is not necessary to buy more expensive products if cheaper versions provide the same benefits. “Also, since so many products were not available [during the pandemic], consumers tried different brands, and maybe learned about new brands, which likely altered patterns in brand loyalty.” Thus, today’s bottled water companies may be able to take advantage of consumers’ willingness to switch brands, as long as pricing is competitive. Kuhn believes consumers will begin spending more time in stores as the pandemic abates; his research found that post-pandemic, “83 percent of people will prefer to shop in-store.” He says, “This is a good indication that brand awareness for consumer goods will start to increase again.” Bottled water companies that offer discounts or coupons to motivate shoppers to switch to their brands may benefit from a bump in sales.

Crafting More Hopeful Messaging Given consumers’ new online and in-store buying habits and increased focus on healthier (and cost-conscious) living, what types of marketing messages should bottled water companies be creating, and how should they share their messages? While the pandemic still weighs on people’s minds, successful messaging should focus on the future. “Overall, people are less concerned with their health, the economy, and the job market compared to this time last year,” Kuhn explains. “If anything, they are burnt out with advertising and marketing messaging surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. At this time, if your company is not doing something relevant to pandemic relief, saturating consumers with COVID-19-related marketing messaging is not necessary. Your intentions may be good, but consumers are smart enough to know what brands are taking advantage of a delicate situation.” He advises bottled water companies to “adjust your messaging to focus on their new shopping behaviors and preferences.” For example, Kuhn notes that since more consumers are choosing a product because of a favorable coupon, bottlers should “steer your advertising copy to showcase discounts and sales on your products or services, with an additional emphasis on bulk savings.”


“Businesses need to meet consumers where they are spending the most time: online.” He also urges bottled water companies to get a jump-start on those offices that were closed during the pandemic— but are now reopening or offering a hybrid work model. “Get ahead of the competition by advertising your convenient delivery services for bottled water or 5-gallon jugs to office decision makers,” Kuhn says. While more traditional methods of advertising, such as radio, TV, and truck-wrap advertising, still resonate with many consumers, Kuhn suggests that bottled water companies consider ramping up their digital marketing campaigns. “The main goal of marketing is to connect with potential customers in the right place, at the right time,” he explains. “Businesses need to meet consumers where they are spending the most time: online.” Paid social media marketing is “a great example of a digital marketing campaign to utilize right now,” says Kuhn. “According to Statista, there was a significant increase in the average time U.S. users spent on social media in 2020, and it is only predicted to keep rising.” He recommends boosting brand awareness and usage of services or products by investing a small budget toward paid advertising campaigns. “For B2C [business-to-consumer] audiences, it is best to leverage Facebook and Instagram,” he says, while “LinkedIn is likely your best option” for B2B (business-to-business) campaigns. Another effective digital marketing technique, according to Kuhn, is producing content optimized for search engines. “Investing in search engine optimization (SEO) is a great way to get customers to come to you,” he says. SEO describes the process of optimizing website content so that it ranks high in search engine results pages. “ This could be leveraged through general website copy, blog posts, whitepapers, infographics, etc.,” he says. “It’s a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising efforts, such as billboards.

“For instance, what would you prefer?” Kuhn asks. “Paying thousands of dollars for a billboard that will only resonate with a small percentage of drivers and pedestrians? Or creating keyword-rich content for search terms like, ‘Bottled water companies near me,’ that is shown to your target audience when searching on Google. I’d guess the latter.” For small bottlers, low-cost digital marketing options should be evaluated. Email marketing, for example, “is a great way to remain top-of-mind with previous and current customers,” he says. “There are plenty of email marketing platforms that offer free or low-cost services to reach your target audience.” He recommends experimenting with MailerLite, Sendinblue, or Cakemail. Kuhn also encourages bottlers to leverage organic social media. “For brands with little to no marketing budget, organic social media serves as a strong foundation for any marketing strategy,” Kuhn says. “Think outside the box for how to interact and engage with your followers to best stand out.” As bottled water companies navigate the current marketing environment, they’ll find that it’s important to consider how consumers prefer to do their shopping—and adjust their messaging accordingly. BWR

“Investing in search engine optimization (SEO) is a great way to get customers to come to you.”

Christine Umbrell, is a freelance writer based in Herndon, Virginia. Email her at

SEP/OCT 2021 • BWR • 15


Bio-Rad’s RAPID’E.coli 2 Agar for Water Testing Receives EPA Approval to Detect E. coli and Total Coliforms in Drinking Water Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc, have announced that its RAPID’E.coli 2 Agar for water testing has received approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for testing drinking water for Escherichia coli (E. coli) and total coliforms. The solution includes chromogenic medium and a selective supplement that can detect these bacteria without the need for a confirmation step. The Bio-Rad RAPID’E.coli 2 Agar for water testing provides simultaneous enumeration of E. coli and other coliforms, delivering results in less than 24 hours. The bright color utilized in the medium offers strong contrast in helping to identify the presence of target organisms from interfering flora. Standard methods to test water for E. coli and coliforms usually involves a series of complex steps, and the results often lack selectivity, which can be challenging for water testing since interfering flora may be abundant, particularly in nontreated water sources such as spring water and wells. The RAPID’E.coli 2 Agar for water testing offers direct and specific discrimination of E. coli from other coliforms. “Our RAPID’E.coli 2 Agar for water testing reflects Bio-Rad’s commitment to providing innovative solutions for water safety testing,” said Jean-Francois Chauvet, Vice President and General Manager, Bio-Rad Applied Markets. “The stringent and comprehensive requirements required for EPA validation are well aligned with our goal to provide high-quality products for water testing as well as our goal to streamline workflows and improve efficiencies.” The EPA approval provides validation for use of RAPID’E.coli 2 Agar for water testing in U.S. laboratories. The method has also received the NF Validation Certificate, a certification from the AFNOR Groupe designed to validate commercial microbial analysis kits that is recognized in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Please visit to learn more about Bio-Rad’s solutions for water testing. .


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Leading a team at a bottled water facility means you often have to act as the liaison between plant personnel and management executives. But unlike some businesses, where an outsider is brought in without much experience or knowledge of the company’s operations, at a bottled water plant, the plant manager is usually someone who was—and still is—viewed as one of “us.” SEP/OCT 2021 • BWR • 17

The decision to promote from within can be key to the success of any bottled water operation, as the work environment is very demanding. “In this business, we’re working long, hard hours all the time,” says IBWA Board and Executive Committee Member Robert Smith, owner of the Alton, Virginiabased Grand Springs Distribution. “It’s not a cakewalk in a bottled water plant. Everyone is being pushed 100 percent of the time, and keeping morale up is a huge responsibility.” According to Gallup, the quality of a manager makes up 70 percent of the variance in team engagement ( A good plant manager is a good mentor; someone who knows what and how to communicate with

employees. Communication, listening, understanding, as well as a great work ethic are all traits a plant manager needs, but those characteristics tend to present themselves in employees long before they think of taking on the role of plant manager.

The Look of a Plant Manager Monika Morgan, IBWA’s reigning Plant Manager of the Year and the Northwest regional plant manager for Primo Water North America is a great example of how someone with a lot of potential can evolve into a great leader. Morgan leads the company’s bottling plants in Kent, Washington and Portland, Oregon. In 1998, long before she was running two bottled water plants, Morgan was waiting tables at a family diner in Auburn,

BECOME AN IBWA CPO If you’re looking for ways to improve your career opportunities, consider becoming an IBWA Certified Plant Operator (CPO). A CPO is any person who qualifies to operate and maintain, by experience, education, and training, the facilities of a bottled water plant. The CPO ensures that a production facility is under the supervision of an individual who has demonstrated a proficiency of knowledge of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) and the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) system, including treatment technologies, sanitation, and regulatory issues. To become a CPO, you must successfully pass the IBWA CPO Final Examination. The exam covers GMPs and the HACCP system of managing food safety, including source and product sanitation, water treatment technology, product quality, and record keeping. Certification is valid for three years and begins in the calendar year of the examination date and expires on December 31 of the third year. Those interested in taking the CPO exam should study from the Plant Technical Reference Manual and the IBWA Bottled Water Code of Practice, as the exam is based on material from both documents. Test-takers are advised to study at least 45 days in advance, especially if they’re new to the bottled water industry. The exam is known to be challenging, even for those with several years of experience working in the industry. To pass the test, you must score at least 70 percent. IBWA’s CPO exam is offered in-person and online. The online test is available through IBWA’s CPO Exam portal: Test times are scheduled for 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. (ET) on Thursdays. For more information about the CPO exam or becoming an IBWA CPO, contact IBWA Program Coordinator - Education, Science, and Technical Relations Linda Amar:


Plant Manager Monika Morgan (Primo Water North America) conducts a quality check on the bottling line. Washington. She excelled at her job, and her work ethic was noticed by a few representatives from the new Sparkletts plant being built nearby. They asked her to take a job at the facility. “I guess they liked my work ethic, and they said, ‘Hey, we’d like you to come work at Sparkletts Water,’ and I said, ‘I don’t even know anything about water,’” Morgan remembers. The representatives reassured her that she would be taught all that was needed to do the job. She accepted a position as a production operator on the bottling line. Morgan also picked up new skills working at the facility’s refurbishing center and took time to learn some administrative duties as well. “I learned anything I could,” she says. David Wagar, the plant manager for Culligan’s Brooklyn Park, Minnesota plant, adopted a similar approach when starting his bottled water career. “You don’t just physically show up [to the job],” he explains. “You learn. You ask questions.” Just learning how to operate a piece of equipment isn’t enough to be your best, he says. Workers should learn why it’s operated a particular way. From management’s perspective, an employee who asks questions is an engaged worker who is invested in doing their job properly to help ensure the success of the company.


What It Takes to Run the Show Wagar joined Culligan in 2014 and since then has worked in every area of the plant (except point-of-use systems). He’s traveled on routes with drivers to help with deliveries, worked with customer service representatives, operated the bottling line, and numerous other jobs around the facility. Because of all those work experiences, Wagar moved seamlessly into the plant manager role, which he’s held for three years. Likewise, Morgan transitioned from plant worker to plant manager with ease because she’d gradually learned many of the other positions that make the plant run smoothly. She became plant manager at the Kent facility in 2010 and began leading the Portland plant in 2019. Morgan is based in Kent, where she greets employees before reviewing emails and taking calls throughout the day. She’s heavily involved in production operations and conducts team huddles regularly to lay the groundwork for all three shifts. Portland is approximately a two-and-a-half-hour drive south from Kent, but thanks to modern technology Morgan stays connected with the team there via Zoom.

Plant Manager Monika Morgan (Primo Water North America) meets with a regional operations manager to review inventory management data. plant manager. Eginer hired Wagar and was his immediate supervisor. From day one, Wagar was intrigued.

just from sitting down in his office and

“He was one of the most interesting men I’ve ever met in my life,” says Wagar. “He taught me a lot. I learned

to fix the washer, or even his Vietnam

Wagar is good friends with his mentor, Ed Eginer, the previous Brooklyn Park

how to make the robot run right, how veteran stories.” Eginer explained things in a simple, easy way, he says. Eginer’s

SCD-9 One push, one cup only

The Importance of Mentoring Running a bottled water plant isn’t easy. Morgan says you have to have a good work ethic, be detail oriented, adapt to a multitude of work scenarios, and be a great problem solver. But like any other leader, plant managers will occasionally run into issues and need additional guidance from a mentor. According to the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), being a good mentor or coach requires being able to talk with an employee in an open, honest, and respectful way and understand why this interaction is important ( ASAE_Mentor). It’s a skill that’s best learned with practice.

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scheduling time to meet with employees, both individually and as a team. Wagar informally meets with his staff daily to review the tasks and goals for that day. Afterwards, he’ll meet up with employees individually to gauge how they’re doing with projects, goals, or their well-being overall.

(Left) Plant Manager David Wagar (Culligan, Brooklyn Park) loads up the robot with racks of bottles. (Right) Wagar reads the monitor on the plant's RO filtration system. influence on Wagar’s career was significant. He constantly pushed Wagar to get his IBWA certified plant operator (CPO) certification, but Wagar didn’t understand why. “I never thought I would have his job,” he says. But Eginer saw Wagar’s potential, and, eventually, Wagar went on to get his CPO certification. Before officially being named Brooklyn Park’s plant manager, Wagar was interim manager while Eginer was temporarily out for medical reasons. By the time he stepped into the role officially, Wagar knew the

ins and outs of the position. Today, he pushes his staff like Eginer pushed him, as he sees something special in them. “These are things that are going to be important to their careers, whether it’s here or somewhere else,” Wagar says. If someone can’t operate most of the equipment in the plant after a few years on the job, then you haven’t done your best job at mentoring them, he adds.

Still Part of the Team Anyone who has held the plant manager position knows the importance of

HOW TO BE A MENTOR MANAGER According to the Association for Talent Development, managers that adhere to a “mentor management” style abide by the “Five Cs” below: CONFIDENCE: Mentors believe in themselves and are confident in what they’re teaching. CREDIBILITY: They possess the knowledge and understand what they’re teaching. COMPETENCE: They have knowledge and experience regarding the role they’re teaching. CANDOR: Mentors are looked at to offer fearless, empathetic honesty. CARING: They’re genuinely concerned for employees and are invested in their outcomes. Using the Five Cs as a guide will help managers focus on both developing the skills of their employees and being a proactive advocate for them (


“I don’t like anyone thinking that if they’re here that they’re just a body,” he says. “I want everybody to feel like they’re involved in something—because if you care about your job, you’re going to do a better job.” Another way he gets employees involved is by actively asking them for suggestions on how to improve processes, which his staff appreciates, he says. When new projects are discussed that require a specialized skillset, Wagar already knows the strengths of each team member and can delegate tasks based on each individual’s abilities. Knowing the skills and performance levels of each employee is important when communicating with upper management. Wagar reports directly to a general manager, who doesn’t impose on how Wagar manages his employees. “He knows that I know my [team] and that I know they’re strengths,” Wagar explains. “I know what they’re willing to do and what they can do.” Keeping the lines of communication open between upper management and employees can be a challenge, but Morgan notes that the positive, can-do attitude that exists within management at Primo Water trickles down to all of its employees. As we’ve seen during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s also important for plant managers to remember the importance of empathy. “That was a tough time,” Wagar says about the height of the pandemic last year. The shared pandemic experience is the focus of a recent Harvard Business Review article that encourages managers to now “lead with empathy.” (

More than ever before, leadership requires emotional intelligence. Regularly practicing authentic engagement skills can improve a manager’s ability to communicate with employees, as well as strengthen their other emotional intelligence, honing skills like vulnerability, curiosity, and self-awareness. Managers who have focused on those skills are better equipped to tackle emotional situations with their staff. Ultimately, such authentic engagement promotes safety and trust, which helps to build a positive company culture.

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Foundation of a Good Plant Manager Being a plant manager is as much of a “people manager” job as it is maintaining the technical aspects of a bottled water plant. It’s important to keep in mind that everyone is unique and may accept leadership in different forms, whether that’s verbally or by example. Learning to become a plant manager starts from day one in the facility, whether that’s on a route truck or on the bottling line. Demonstrating leadership and optimism is a must, as working in a bottling plant can be demanding. If you’re happy, and the people around you are happy, it sets the foundation for company-wide success.

learn. Take any opportunity when you can, whether it’s covering for somebody on vacation or learn another piece of equipment or department. You have to have knowledge of all the different facets [of plant operations]. Plant manager is a hands-on position, and if you don’t understand the processes, it’s going to make it a lot more difficult.” BWR

Chris Torres, is IBWA’s communications coordinator. Contact him at

Morgan provides the last word on the critical characteristics any potential plant manager needs: “You have to have good work ethic, drive, and you have to problem-solve. Learn what you can

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The article cites a Gartner survey where 85 percent of human resource leaders at mid-sized companies note it is more important for managers to demonstrate empathy now than before the pandemic. But developing empathy takes time and “high levels of trust and care and a culture of acceptance within teams.”

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EXPLORE – LEARN - NAVIGATE November 8-11 | IBWA Virtual Annual Business Conference Exploration of new ideas is a critical element to navigating the times we are in. The work of IBWA doesn’t stop because of COVID-19. In fact, in many ways IBWA is busier than ever—helping the bottled water community navigate through these precarious times and continuing our work on other important industry issues. IBWA has an exciting lineup of education sessions planned for the 2021 Annual Business Conference, which is being held virtually. Each session addresses an issue that is at the forefront of these times of evolving priorities for consumers and businesses. Topics covered include the following: Supply Chain Issues in the Bottled Water Industry Cybersecurity for the Bottled Water Industry and Small Businesses Extended Producer Responsibility Legislation for Packaging Bottled Water Sales Trends Understanding Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Microplastics and Emerging Contaminants … and many more! Be sure to check out the entire list of sessions and descriptions that are provided on the following pages. Updates will be added to IBWA's website as they become available: Another critical component of the virtual Annual Business Conference is the opportunity for IBWA members to attend committee meetings to gain a further understanding of the work that is being done on behalf of our members—and give members the opportunity to provide input on areas such as government relations, environmental sustainability, science and technical, education, communications, membership, and the annual conference.







COVID’S EFFECT ON IBWA’S CPO PROGRAM The IBWA Bottled Water Code of Practice requires members to have at least one CPO in each member facility. All IBWA education sessions scheduled for the 2021 IBWA Annual Business Conference are eligible for CEUs. At this year’s conference, 16.5 CEUS are available: 9.5 technical CEUs CEU and 7 business CEUs



To keep their certification current, CPOs may either retake the CPO exam every three years or accrue the required 21 CEUs (up to 6 CEUs can be from non-technical/business topics)— within each three-year period (which averages out to only 7 CEUs per year). Due to COVID-19 limiting the opportunities to earn CEUs, IBWA has granted a oneyear extension for certificates originally expiring in 2020, 2021, or 2022.

CEU Bottled Water Filtration: A Part of 1.0 High-Quality Assurance

Carbon Footprint CEU 1.0 and Climate Disclosures Workshop

Presenter: Majid Entezarian, 3M Purification

Presenter: Nick Martin, Antea Group

Safe drinking water is vital to our existence. It provides us with the hydration that every one of our organs needs to function. Bottled water offers a portable water source that can be very safe if prepared correctly. All potable water should be checked for four major impurity categories. These are (1) metal contents, (2) organic contaminants, (3) solid particulates, and (4) living organisms. The removal of those contaminants to a safe level is critical, and several technologies can help reduce those contaminants to provide water that is potable. Bacterial contamination is the most critical issue because detection usually takes 24 to 48 hours after the product is shipped or consumed by the end-user. Because of its associated risk level, prevention strategies are of prime interest. Final filtration will be discussed as a last line of defense.

Cybersecurity for the 1.0 Bottled Water Industry and Small Businesses CEU

Supply Chain Issues in the Bottled 1.0 Water Industry


Presenter: Jarrod Goentzel, PhD; Humanitarian Supply Chain Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Resilient supply chains are crucial in providing essential goods and services to the public. In the past year, we have realized how interconnected and fragile supply chains can be during crisis. This session will share recommendations for increasing supply chain resilience and highlight opportunities for public-private partnership to ensure business continuity in the next crisis.


This workshop will provide the audience with not only the “Why” of calculating a carbon footprint and climate disclosures but also the “How”—best practices, leading frameworks, and business impacts (ROI). The focus will be on specific applicability to the beverage sector with associated examples and resources. You will learn how to be more prepared for the growing expectations on beverage companies to have both a decarbonization strategy (greenhouse gas accounting, science-based targets, low carbon transition plan) and a climate resiliency strategy (acute/chronic physical risks and regulatory/market transition risks). Recommendations from the Task Force on ClimateRelated Financial Disclosures (TCFD) will be used as the framework for the session.

Presenter: Special Agent Edward (Ted) Early, US Secret Service – San Antonio Field Office

This presentation will cover different types of electronic/cyber-attacks, including Insider Threat, Corporate Account Take Over, Business Email Compromise, Ransomware, and Mobile Malware. You’ll also learn to identify the indications or clues that you may be experiencing an attack, what to do if you are being attacked, and how to protect yourself from an attack. Attendees will find this protection information useful for not only their organizations (i.e., corporate IT infrastructure) but also their families (personal protection).

Presenters: Rae Mindock, SCS Global Services, and Jillian Olsen, Cherry Ridge Consulting, LLC

Metrics guide and tool co-developed by the Beverage Industry Environmental Roundtable (BIER) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). That tool provides a step-by-step process to support decisions for evaluating a specific facility’s water needs, water source options, and determining post-use and discharge options.

Understanding Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Introduction to Water Circularity Metrics



Presenter: Nick Martin, Antea Group Providing an introduction to the concept of Water Circularity, this session will present an in-depth review of the key metrics for circular water sourcing, use, and discharge. The session will explore common ideas and approaches between circular economy principles and water system management to identify opportunities for practical applications and communicating those important concepts. Attendees will be provided an overview of a Water Circularity



Presenters: Cory Martin, IBWA, and J.P. Toner, IBWA



Presenter: Deanna Samaha, BlueTriton Brands Knowing an organization’s catchment is critical to effective water stewardship. It is important in determining risks to an organization as well as shared water challenges and opportunities among stakeholders within the catchment that could affect the organization. This session will cover the process of defining a catchment(s) relative to a site and how that integrates into the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) standard. The session will also highlight important changes to the AWS program.

Overview of Packaging Extended Producer Responsibility at the State and Federal Level

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion deserves a seat at the table in any organization, no matter the size. Based on the favorable impact DE&I can have in an organization, it should be embraced, supported, and provided the opportunity to thrive as opposed to being treated or introduced as a special project or initiative. This discussion will help provide insight to better understanding diversity, equity, and inclusion; the differences between each; and how they complement one another. Additionally, attendees should expect to walk away with some tangible ideas as to how you, as a leader, can be more deliberate about—and identify ways to improve—DE&I in your organization in an effort to attract and retain the best talent, as well as seeing an improvement in your business results due to the creation of a more diverse business environment.

As extended producer responsibility (EPR) legislation for packaging evolves in the United States, some different approaches have emerged. This session will define what a Packaging Extended Producer Responsibility is; review the components of EPR and how this policy is being shaped at the state and federal level (e.g., Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act); and discuss how IBWA is engaging on this issue.

How to Employ and Manage Next Generation (Gen Z) Employees



Presenter: Neil Mairs, Solutions Recruiting

How do you manage a generation that doesn’t know a world without Facebook, doesn’t remember 9/11 or Enron, and would rather not work for a world-renowned company that made products they didn’t believe in? This session will define Gen Z, discuss what makes them tick, take account of the attributes that can make them excellent employees, and review management styles that have a positive impact on this important population of the workforce.


Topics in Water CEU Stewardship Series: 1.0 Steps in Defining Catchment Areas and Updates to the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) Program

SEP/OCT 2021 • BWR • 25



What to Expect CEU With Evolving State 1.0 and Federal Minimum Recycling Content Mandates

to expect regarding exclusions from Section 301 tariffs on water coolers and component parts imported from China. Presenters will also discuss efforts to reauthorize the Generalized System of Preferences program, which ended in December 2020.

The Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR) will provide an overview to bottlers of current and pending minimum plastic recycling content mandates at both the state (e.g., CA, WA, and ME) and federal level. The session will include discussion of the impact of those requirements on recycling collection, Post Consumer Resin (PCR) capacity, and PCR quality, as well as the compliance requirements for the existing or proposed content mandates.

The Alan A. Leff Memorial Lecture Series: Hydration Biomarkers in Characterizing Optimal Hydration

Presenter: Kate Eagles, Association of Plastics Recyclers

The Biden 1.0 Administration’s Trade Agenda: What to Expect in 2022 and Beyond, and How Will It (Continue to) Impact Your Business



Presenters: Colleen Muñoz, PhD, University of Hartford, and Michael Bergeron, PhD, FACSM, Women’s Tennis Association


Presenters: Cory Martin, IBWA, and J.P. Toner, IBWA

Trade leapt to the forefront under the Trump Administration, and those trade issues continue to be a top priority for the Biden Administration. Attend this session to learn more about the Biden Administration’s view and strategy to resolve ongoing trade disputes—and what actions to expect from Congress in the coming year. Specifically, this session will focus not only on the Biden Administration’s overall trade agenda but also on what 26 • BWR • WWW.BOTTLEDWATER.ORG

In 2013, the Drinking Water Research Foundation’s (DWRF) friend and colleague Alan A. Leff, PhD, passed away. To honor Alan’s memory and recognize his many contributions to the bottled water industry, DWRF has established the Alan A. Leff Memorial Lecture Series. The vision for these educational presentations is to provide a forum for experts from around the globe to discuss water related subjects. As part of DWRF’s Alan A. Leff Memorial Lecture Series, the Foundation is pleased to announce that Dr. Colleen Muñoz and Dr. Michael Bergeron will speak on common and novel hydration biomarkers in characterizing optimal hydration, related chronic health status/risk, and the role machine learning plays in hydration research. The lecture will highlight findings and publications related to their DWRF-funded research project on “Machine Learning in Modeling the Elusive Daily Water Requirement” to evaluate plasma copeptin threshold

as a primary classification differentiator and indicator of hydration status, as well as how an individual’s hydration knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors can be effectively utilized in a predictive model developed with machine learning to differentially classify LOW and HIGH drinkers.

Bottled Water Sales Trends



Presenter: Gary Hemphill, Beverage Marketing Corporation The bottled water category experienced accelerated volume growth in 2020, and the category widened its lead as the most popular packaged beverage in the United States, with growth continuing into 2021. Growth has been especially driven by PET single-serve and sparkling water segments. In this fast-paced session, learn how the category is performing in 2021, how it’s been impacted by the pandemic, what the key trends are, and the outlook for the future. Also, get perspective on competitive categories like carbonated soft drinks, sports drinks, and more. CEU An Update on Microplastics and 1.0 Emerging Contaminants

Presenter: Rick Zimmer, Eurofins Eaton Analytical

In today’s world, there is a heightened focus on public health, environmental stewardship, water conservation, and recycling. Those trends, coupled with advances in analytical instrumentation, are fostering an increase in the scope and pace of publications broadcasting the occurrence of new contaminants and detection of regulated contaminants

The Wide World of Advocacy: Successful 1.0 Message Delivery Methods for the Industry CEU

Presenter: J.P. Toner, IBWA

During the last two years, access to policymakers who make important decisions about the bottled water industry has greatly changed—and our messaging has continued to evolve. Come and learn about some of the best tried-and-true ways to deliver the good news about bottled water, how to influence key decision makers on the issues most important to your company, and unique ways to motivate employees to participate in advocacy efforts.

CPO Study Session Moderator: Bob Hirst, IBWA



This session is always a favorite among those attendees who signed up to take IBWA’s Certified Plant Operator (CPO) Certification Exam. Attendees should put their thinking caps on and be prepared to have some game show fun! If studying usually makes you sleepy, you won’t have to worry about that here, as industry experts will help attendees prepare for the CPO exam—but you will have to be fast on your feet! Do you have the answers to run a bottling plant? Take the challenge and find out!

GET THE LATEST CONFERENCE UPDATES The last two years have been a time of great change and innovation. Perhaps now more than ever, bottled water industry professionals need a space to come together and discuss how to take the lessons we’ve learned and use them to evolve our business operations to ensure we continue to meet the consumer demand for bottled water. After all, bottled water continues to be the No.1 packaged beverage in America (by volume). Plan now to attend the virtual IBWA Annual Business Conference to learn from industry experts, network with your peers, and provide insights that will help guide IBWA’s activities for the rest of this year and into 2022. For all the latest updates on IBWA's virtual Annual Business Conference, visit


at lower levels. Technology and occurrence are outpacing the Federal regulatory process. States are left to develop their own strategy for addressing CECs occurrence and potential health concerns for contaminants such as poly- and perfluoroalkyl (PFAS) compounds, brominated haloacetic acids (brHAAs), nitrosamines, lithium, microplastics, and 6-ppb quinone. This presentation will provide a comprehensive summary of the most prevalent contaminants of emerging concern to support an assessment of CECs impacts on your current products and source water, and implications for your water quality and communications strategy.

SEP/OCT 2021 • BWR • 27

Advocacy Best Practices: Why Plant Tours Are Our Best Educational Tool By Cory Martin, IBWA Vice President of Government Relations

Make no mistake—seeing is believing. In policymaking, that proverb is even more true. Traditional advocacy education efforts, such as meeting face-to-face with elected officials either virtually or in their offices, are critical to building and maintaining relationships; however, nothing beats the education legislators get when they walk around a bottled water plant. Only when inside the plant can these important decision makers witness firsthand our bottling operations in action. That onsite education offers more insight than any other advocacy activity. Planning a plant tour takes time and effort, but the results can often be in28 • BWR • WWW.BOTTLEDWATER.ORG

credibly beneficial to your company and the industry. A recent tour conducted by IBWA Board and Executive Committee Member Robert Smith, owner of Grand Springs Distribution in Alton, Virginia, for Representative Bob Good (R-VA) provides a stellar example of the benefits of a plant tour.

Case Study: Grand Springs Distribution Walking into Smith’s well-used office, you can’t help but notice the importance he places on establishing relationships with elected officials. Photos line the walls of Smith with his wife, Peggy, and

several former and current congresspersons from Virginia and North Carolina. Included in the gallery are those who have represented Smith’s business, such as Representatives Bob Etheridge (DNC) and Renee Ellmers (R-NC), and Senator Richard Burr (R-NC). Smith explains why he considers inviting policymakers to his plant vital to the success of his business: “Most members of Congress know little to nothing about the [bottled water] industry before they visit. They need to know about the industry, so they can make an informed decision on legislation that may affect my business and the industry. The

GOVERNMENT RELATIONS way to do that is bring them into the plant. Otherwise, they are making a decision based on little or no knowledge of how a bill may affect our business.”

Plant Tour Key Takeaways While it is always good to get to know your members of Congress or other elected officials through general advocacy efforts, plant tours offer a critical opportunity to not only speak to the issues that impact the industry but also show how those issues impact the water bottling process. Observing firsthand the many protocols in place to help ensure the safety and quality of bottled water establishes for the legislators a connection between issues discussed and their actual impact on the industry. After an elected official has toured your plant, it’s likely that when you next meet they will recall what they saw during the visit and better understand how proposed policies would affect your business. For Smith, his primary focus during plant tours is to replace any preconceived notions that legislators or their staff might have about the bottled water industry with facts. The key takeaway he wants policymakers to remember is that bottled water is regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). While walking the plant with legislators, Smith explains that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets standards for tap water, and FDA reviews those tap water standards and then imposes them, as appropriate, to bottled water. Smith’s goal is to make sure elected officials leave his tour knowing that his business and the industry are regulated by the FDA as a food product and that, by federal law, FDA regulations governing the safety and quality of bottled water must be at least as stringent as the EPA regulations that govern tap water. While Smith’s focus is on FDA’s oversite of bottled water, you may have

other key takeaways you want to communicate to policymakers. The point is to make sure the elected official leaves the tour with a much better understanding of how the industry and your business produces bottled water products.

Be Flexible Plant tours require a lot of planning, but even the best-laid plans can go astray. If an elected official is keen to discuss an issue that’s not on your agenda, it’s always best to be flexible and address their concerns first. You’ll likely find openings in the conversation to discuss the policy concerns you wanted to bring to the attention of the policymaker. From time to time, a visiting elected official will already know a little about manufacturing and perhaps even about the process of bottling water. Smith takes those opportunities to delve more deeply into specific issues to ensure the policymaker fully understands industry’s perspective. Smith notes, however, that more often than not policymakers are uneducated about manufacturing concepts in general and the bottling process specifically. Yet, these are the people who are engaged in drafting and voting on policies that impact you and your business. That’s why offering educational plant tours is so important.

Tour Completed – Now What? Typically, bottlers scheduled a plant tour with an elected official or their staff after first meeting briefing either in-person or virtually. Plant tours offer an opportunity to greatly strengthen that relationship by not only helping to build a rapport with the policymaker but also provide them with a bottled water education. Yet, your work is not done once the tour is over. Relationships with elected officials need nurturing. Simple acts like checking in with their office via email or phone, visiting virtually or in person,


Start planning your plant tour by reaching out to IBWA staff. They have a lot of experience organizing tours and can help you every step of the way. All that is needed from you is a willingness to open your facility to visitors and time out of your busy schedule. IBWA staff can help do the rest. If you’re interested in hosting a tour, please contact IBWA Vice President of Government Relations Cory Martin: cmartin@

and attending political events where the elected official will be present are actions you can take to ensure your legislator knows you are invested in the policymaking process. Smith always sends a thank you note to any elected official who visits his plant. That simple act can pay dividends down the road, as it helps those who toured the plant recall their experience. The card is Smith’s first outreach to ensure he stays in touch with his legislator. He also attends as many events with the elected official as his schedule permits and makes sure to keep on top of what is happening in his district. Smith says, “It’s important that you know your member of Congress, but it’s more important that they know you.” You make that happen by consistently communicating with your legislators or their staff. Smith remembers that former North Carolina Congressman Bob Etheridge used to call him regularly just to check in. That wasn’t something the congressman did with everyone. His attentiveness to Smith was a reflection of the relationship they built through education and political support. But those calls only started after Rep. Etheridge visited Smith’s plant. BWR

SEP/OCT 2021 • BWR • 29

How to Use IBWA’s Monthly Social Media Toolkit By Jill Culora, IBWA Vice President of Communications

Social media continues to play a vital role in communicating with your current and potential customers. Whether it be new products or services, a contest, a giveaway, or announcing your latest news, social media can be an effective way to reach people of all ages. But carrying out social media updates on a weekly basis can be cumbersome when you have competing workload demands. To help members keep their social media on track, IBWA offers a monthly 30 • BWR • WWW.BOTTLEDWATER.ORG

social media toolkit. Read on to learn more about this toolkit and the various ways you can use its images and posts.

What Is a Social Media Toolkit? IBWA’s social media toolkit provides enough material (e.g., images with suggested text for posts) for at least eight posts each month. Some of those posts cover national “holidays” (fun events like National Pizza Day); other posts

are “evergreen,” which is material you can use any day of the week or month. IBWA provides eight posts so that members have enough material to place two posts each week for the month to help fill up their social media calendars. IBWA sends out the toolkit via email one week prior to the start of a new month. Once received, you can download images directly from the toolkit and cut/paste the text directly onto your social media platform of choice.


You can also use the toolkit as a source of inspiration—and customize the sample messages IBWA provides. Members are encouraged to brand the material by adding their logos to any graphics or images that IBWA distributes. When developing each monthly toolkit, IBWA’s Communications Team includes special days for each month. For example, in the September toolkit you’ll find posts for Labor Day (on the 6th), Grandparents' Day (the 12th), the first day of fall (the 22nd), and International Podcasting Day (on the 30th). The remaining posts are evergreen and cover the four pillars of IBWA’s communications messaging: bottled water is strictly regulated, bottled water has the lowest environmental footprint of all packaged beverages, bottled water is the best choice for healthy hydration, and the bottled water industry always responds swiftly in times of need.

What Is a Social Media Calendar? Social media experts suggest businesses post at a minimum three times per week and a maximum of once each day. With various social media platforms to manage, it can be a juggling act to figure out what to share and when. To streamline that task, a social media calendar is a great way to keep track of content, the day (and time) to post, and the platforms to post on. Using a social media calendar will make it easier to coordinate your campaigns and grow your reach and engagement. Having a calendar will also help you see content “holes” that can be easily filled with material from IBWA’s social media toolkit. The more organized you are with your social media posts, the more effective your efforts will be. If you have Microsoft Excel, you can make a social media calendar quite simply. Assign each column to a

SOCIAL MEDIA CAN BE AN EFFECTIVE WAY TO REACH PEOPLE OF ALL AGES. specific social media channel: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. Then, use the rows for days and times. It’s best to build out months in advance and then fill the boxes with content as you plan campaigns and posts. When the IBWA social media toolkit arrives via email, you’ll be able to see empty days in your plan and easily cut and paste IBWA’s content into your calendar. Another way to use the content is to make a folder on your desktop and copy IBWA’s evergreen images/graphics and posts to have handy when you need to make a social media post, but you don’t have the time to create something new from scratch.

Scheduling Social Media Posts Vs. Manual Publishing Social media experts recommend that you publish posts on high traffic days during “peak” times. For example, Hootsuite recommends the following: • The best times to post on social media overall is 10:00 AM on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. • The best time to post on Facebook is 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM on Tuesdays and Thursdays. • The best time to post on Instagram is 11:00 AM on Wednesdays. • The best time to post on Twitter is 8:00 AM on Mondays and Thursdays. • The best time to post on LinkedIn is 9:00 AM on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. It’s one thing to be aware of social media’s high traffic times, but quite another to be able to manually go live specifically at those times, as it’s not always convenient. That’s why it’s good

to learn to schedule posts in advance. You can either schedule on the social media platform itself or use a social media software tool that will host all your platforms in one place. Examples include ContentCal, Faclon, and Loomly. An added benefit of using a social media scheduling platform is that many have analytics, so you’ll be able to measure your results easily. IBWA’s Communications Team often schedules “holiday” themed posts in advance and publishes other posts live. To ensure no one staff member is overwhelmed, we divvy up the social media tasks between the three team members, with each managing one platform—either Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. That way, each team member gets to know the audience and behavior on a specific platform and can adjust posts to suit the audience. (For example, the audience on Instagram is much younger than the audience reached currently on Facebook.) I hope you are already using IBWA’s social media toolkit, but if you’re not, perhaps you will give it a try. Please know that the Communications Team is always here to help our members! BWR


A copy of IBWA's social media toolkit is sent to those individuals who have been identified as responsible for their company's social media platforms. If you are an IBWA member who currently doesn't receive the monthly toolkit but would like to, please contact IBWA Director of Communications Sabrina Hicks:

SEP/OCT 2021 • BWR • 31

IBWA Partners With BIER on 2021 Water, Energy, and Emissions Benchmarking Study By Al Lear, IBWA Director of Science and Research

IBWA member companies recognize that the best approach for environmental sustainability is proactive resource management based on a comprehensive understanding of how water and energy are used in operations. By improving data management and analysis at the facility level, bottlers can track and report their achievements in water and energy conservation. Understanding data to realize where there are opportunities to improve allows for active implementation of process changes to reduce water and energy use while still experiencing sustainable business growth. Some examples of those water sustainability 32 • BWR • WWW.BOTTLEDWATER.ORG

efforts include improving performance in the reverse osmosis process, integrating concentrate recovery, optimizing washer units to maximize efficiency, improving data collection, and resolving system leaks. A few examples of energy efficiency measures and initiatives include lighting efficiency (such as use of natural light or LED), system automation, increased employee engagement, regular inspections and repairs for compressed air and steam systems, energy audits and surveys, and process optimization through scheduling and settings updates. Benchmarking provides a baseline to measure future progress in water and

energy use reduction and conservation efforts across the bottled water industry. IBWA has previously conducted three water and energy use benchmarking studies for North America, completing its last study in 2018. Those benchmarking studies measured the following key performance metrics: • Water use ratio—average liters of water used in facility processes (including product water) to produce 1 liter of bottled water. • Energy use ratio—average amount of total energy consumed on site from all sources [i.e., purchased electricity, fuel, and steam—measured

TECHNICAL UPDATE in mega joules (MJ)] used in facility processes to produce 1 liter of bottled water. The results of IBWA’s 2018 benchmarking study showed that bottled water facilities had the lowest water use ratio and energy use ratio when compared to other beverage sectors. On average, 1.39 liters of water (which includes the 1 liter of water for consumption) and 0.21 MJ of energy are used to produce 1 liter of finished bottled water. In comparison, a 2018 Beverage Industry Environmental Roundtable (BIER) study of other beverage sectors, such as carbonated soft drinks and beer, average larger water and energy use ratios driven by higher intensity processes unique to those other beverages, such as flavor mixing, blending, carbonation, fermentation, cooking, distilling, etc.

What BIER Brings to the Table Since 2007, BIER has produced a global quantitative benchmarking study to evaluate water use, energy use, and carbon emissions and to strengthen the understanding and practice of resource stewardship in the beverage industry. The 2018 BIER study included participation from 19 global beverage companies, including 15 BIER members and four external partner contributors. The final dataset included more than 1,600 facilities from six continents. IBWA has an opportunity to partner with BIER by participating in its 2021 Global Benchmarking study. The IBWA Environmental Sustainability Committee voted unanimously, in March of this year, to participate in the study. BIER will also continue to partner with other beverage industry consortiums and organizations, such as the European Fruit Juice Association (AIJN), the Kentucky Distillers Association (KDA), and the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS). The four primary facility types included in this study are bottling facilities, breweries, distilleries,

BENCHMARKING PROVIDES A BASELINE FROM WHICH TO MEASURE FUTURE PROGRESS IN CONSERVATION EFFORTS. and wineries. Data is anticipated from 15 global BIER members and five partner contributors. The scope of this study includes benchmarking water, energy, and climate performance metrics from global beverage facilities: • Water performance metrics include Total Water Consumption (KL), Cooling Water Volumes (as applicable), Total Beverage Production, Total Water Discharge, and Wastewater Treatment. The reported data is used to calculate each facility’s water use ratio (calculated as liter/liter performance ratio based on total water used per liter of beverage produced). • Energy performance metrics include Total Energy Consumption (MJ) and Energy Breakdown by Source: – Electricity – Percent of Renewable Grid Electricity – Total Fuel Consumption (by source) – Purchased Heat (by source) – Onsite energy generation The reported data is used to calculate each facility’s energy use ratio (calculated as mega joules/liter performance ratio based on total energy used per liter of beverage produced). • Emission performance metrics include Scope 1 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MT CO2e) and Scope 2 market-based MT CO2e: – Scope 1 Emissions: Direct greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from owned or controlled sources (e.g., generation of electricity, heating,

cooling, and steam from fuel combustion). For the purpose of this study, Scope 1 emissions does not include owned transportation fleets. – Scope 2 Emissions: Indirect GHG emissions from the consumption of purchased or acquired electricity, heat or steam. The reported data is used to calculate each facility’s emissions ratio (calculated as CO2e/L performance ratio based on total emissions (Scope 1+2) used per liter of beverage produced).

Next Steps: Benchmarking Study Timeline and Reports As in past benchmarking efforts, the Antea Group is conducting the study on behalf of BIER. The 2021 study launched at the end of May with data collection workbooks distributed to participants, including IBWA members. The Antea Group provided an overview of the study at the June IBWA Environmental Sustainability Committee meeting and answered member questions about the process. The data collection from study participants was completed at the end of August. Following data analysis, the study will culminate in the publication of the BIER Global Benchmarking Report in December 2021, with an IBWA supplemental Water Bottling Addendum Report for North America expected in January 2022. BWR

SEP/OCT 2021 • BWR • 33



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 Linda Amar ( / Fax: 703.683.4074), 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______________________________________________

ZIP/Postal Code____________________________________________

Check your selection for each question


Which of the following statements is FALSE?

O Sodium fluoride is a hazardous chemical in its pure state. O The bottled water industry is not regulated by OSHA because it is a safe product free of hazardous chemicals. O A written Hazard Communication Program must be kept on file at each bottling facility. O When mixing sulfuric acid and water, add the acid slowly to the water.


The average liters of water used in facility processes (including product water) to produce 1 liter of bottled water is the _____.



Mass Volume ratio Water Use Ratio Water Consumption Factor Energy Use Ratio

Hazardous waste generators are regulated by _____.


U.S. Food and Drug Administration U.S. Environmental Protection Agency U.S. Department of Commerce U.S. Department of Labor


IBWA has partnered with the Beverage Industry Environmental Roundtable (BIER) on consumer brand preference studies.

O True O False


Entry into a storage tank is regulated by _____ under its confined space entry rules.





The term applied to a delayed health hazard is _____.


Immediate Long-term Chronic Acute


Which of the following IS NOT included in an Energy Performance Metric?


Cooling water volumes Percent of renewable grid electricity Purchased heat Onsite energy generation


The average amount of total energy consumed on site from all sources [purchased electricity, fuel, and steam – measured in mega joules (MJ)] used in facility processes, to produce 1 liter of bottled water is the _____.


EPA Energy Star Coefficient Water Use Ratio Petroleum/Electric Consumption Ratio Energy Use Ratio


Chlorine bleach, iodine, ozone, quaternary ammonium are examples of _____ in the plant.


process chemicals lubricants sanitizers pesticides


An MSDS sheet is a document that contains _____.

O Information about the properties of chemical and other substances O Health effects data and information O Exposure treatment information O All of the above

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BOTTLED WATER: BY THE NUMBERS Of all the water used in the United States each year, only 0.01% is used in the production of bottled water. Bottled Water 0.01% Livestock <1% Domestic Self Supply 1% Mining 1% Aquaculture 2% Industry 5% Public Supply 12% Irrigation 37%

Thermoelectric Power 41%

6,993 1.39


Most Americans —91%—want bottled water available wherever other packaged beverages are sold.


Research shows that 41% of people are going to the grocery store less often—and purchasing in bulk when they do.

Each year, there are an average of 6,993 boil alerts issued.

Americans consumed 15 billion gallons of bottled water in 2020, up 4.2 percent from 2019.

To make 1 liter of finished bottled water product for consumption, bottled water companies use (on average) 1.39 liters of water—and that includes the 1 liter of water that you drink! Bottled water has the lowest water use ratio of all packaged drinks.

36 • BWR • WWW.BOTTLEDWATER.ORG is an online resource developed by IBWA to offer reliable, fact-based information about water scarcity issues, bottled water, and the importance of healthy hydration. Check out these important educational facts you can share with consumers.

Sources: Beverage Marketing Corporation, IBWA, Harris Poll (2020), U.S. Geological Survey

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