LATHAM, N.Y. — Since 1958, the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) has brought together U.S. and international bottlers, distributors and suppliers, unifying the industry by championing bottled water as an important choice for healthy hydration and lifestyle.

More recently, as sustainability has become a sticking point for both consumers and regulators, the IBWA has emphasized its mission to promote an environmentally responsible and sustainable industry. Facing challenges from regulators who want to ban bottled water due to the perceived waste, the industry has responded by performing internal studies of water use, reducing the amount of plastic that goes into water packaging, streamlining operations for maximum 'green' success and emphasizing the importance of clean, readily available bottled water to health.

Water Technology caught up with Joe Doss, president and CEO of IBWA to separate fact from myth when it comes to sustainability in the bottled water industry, and to find out how the industry has changed and continues to evolve today.

"The bottled water industry has the smallest environmental footprint of all packaged beverages,” said Doss. “We have done a lifecycle inventory for the bottled water industry and found, for instance, that our greenhouse gas emissions from the industry basically are equivalent to .08 percent of the total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, pretty much a rounding error. Similarly, with energy use, the bottled water industry is about .07 percent of total energy consumption in the United States. And, with regard to the solid waste, bottled water packaging accounts for .64 percent of total municipal solid waste discard. So an incredibly small environmental footprint.”

Listen to the rest of our conversation with Doss on our podcast page, here: