Key Concepts

Sources of Water

In about 100 BCE, Syrians invented the glass bottle by blowing molten glass through a tube. Until mass production became possible, glass bottles were expensive, so Apollinaris and other waters were sold in earthen jars.

For high-end bottled waters, the glass bottle is a must. The bottles — though sometimes overdesigned and underfunctional, as in the case of Voss (the slim bottle is knocked over easily) — are the most visible aspect of a water brand. While some bottlers only put their water in glass, other brands establish a distinct identity in both glass and plastic.

Lately, some bottlers that have previously only bottled in polyethylene terephthalate (PET) are moving to glass to capture a higher market segment through sales in restaurants and hotels. Meanwhile, Perrier departed in 2001 from its well-known glass bottle by introducing a PET bottle.

When you see the number 1 in the recycling arrows on the bottom of a drink bottle or jar of peanut butter, the container has been made with PET. This polyester type is a robust and transparent plastic resin that keeps its shape even when subjected to temperature changes. PET is also reasonably cheap to produce, doesn't shatter like glass, and is lightweight and recyclable.

Bottlers are at the forefront of reducing plastic waist by looking constantly for new products for the bottles. Bioplastic is a mix of ordinary plastic and plant-material. It can be recycled alongside ordinary PET but has a 35% smaller carbon footprint. Biobottles are certified compostable and made entirely of plant material. This material is taken from the remnants from agricultural production and is sourced only from annually replanted crops. This bottle is probably state-ofthe- art in sustainable packaging for beverages. Always choose glass if possible — it just has a better feel and looks more substantial.