Soda Stream and Two Mega-Corporations

Soda Stream manufactures home carbonation systems, in other words, they let you make your favorite soft drink in your home. Naturally, Pepsi and Coke are doing their best to extinguish the idea of a cheaper, more convenient, more environmentally friendly alternative product on the market. According to reports, Soda Stream had to remove a commercial from the Super Bowl because of the complaints of Pepsi and Coke (whose delivery men are depicted in the commercial). 

Connecting the topic to bottled water; a large part of Soda Stream's marketing campaign is based on an environmentally friendly product. Soda is packaged in the same bottles as bottled water (and many other products), and people ask "why do you choose to single out bottled water, aren't these other products as bad for the environment?" (This is a common defense from bottled water companies in particular).There are a few reasons why bottled water is viewed differently from other products on the market that are also packaged in PET and other plastics.

     1. Bottled water flows out of faucets in your home. A common reason for choosing bottled water is because it is so convenient, but what could be more convenient than having access to something right into your home? Other products that are packaged similarly to bottled water are not as readily available as water. 

     2. Bottled water has no value added. Some reports say that up to 40% of bottled water is just bottled tap water. Bottled water companies do not add value to the basic element of the product. It's not like soda, where special syrups are added to water with other ingredients, it is just plain water.

     3. Shouldn't water be a right? Water is a human necessity, once profit-thirsty corporations start taking control of a basic right we're in trouble (people in China are now being sold air). The documentary Tapped (trailer) outlines this point well, there have been instances where cities have gone through water shortages while water bottling companies have been exploiting their water resources. 

Bottled water is a flawed product for these reasons, but also for others. Bottled water represents aspects of modern culture which plague us today, and could hurt us in the future. PET bottles are made from a vanishing resource in oil, one that harms the environment in many ways, from extraction to ignition. The bottles represent the disposable culture that Americans are obsessed with, and bottled water is an example of mega-corporations using power to influence decisions on local and national scales. 

This brings us back to Soda Stream, whose commercial you won't see on Super Bowl Sunday, but maybe it gave them more publicity in the end. Here is an original article from ThinkProgress. Also feel free to discuss, comment, question, complain, or anything else related to this post in the comments section below.

UPDATED NOTE: Soda Stream also has this neat counter on their website. Here is a page outlining the substance behind the numbers.

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