Green Spin

Commentary – I have a relatively sensitive “Spin” meter, so when I read Ice Mountain’s leafy, green background bit about their thinner, “Eco-Slim” cap, I could just feel my toes begin to tingle…

By now, most of us have some sense that bottled water is not economical or good for the environment, and yet according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Americans still purchased nearly 31 billion bottles of water in 2006 and spend nearly $11 billion dollars on bottled water each and every year.  What’s worse, few plastic water bottles are ever recycled, nearly 8 out of 10 of these bottles will end up in a landfill. Imagine, in 2005 the equivalent of about 18 million barrels of crude oil was consumed to replace the 2 million tons of plastic bottles that were wasted instead of recycled. And did we mention that they could be toxic? It makes your head spin doesn’t it!? 

Enter Ice Mountain’s Eco-Slim cap.  “Smaller Cap = Less Plastic”, they say.  It’s simplicity itself.  Saving a sliver of plastic will bring balance to the universe! On the other hand I can’t help but wonder who actually benefits.  Us? Mother Nature? I mean, I can’t imagine the new slightly thinner cap is making much dent in the landfills. It’s not lowering the price you pay at the register as far as I can tell. It may however edge up profits just a smidge.  Can you really imagine they invested the R&D for the sake of the environment? Really? Maybe.. but that’s hard sell.  One thing is sure, a thinner cap allows Nestle’s Ice Mountain brand to paste the word “Green” on their bottles in big bold lettering and that’s got to be worth something.  In the end they know full well most folks never read beyond the catch phase and “Green” is the new black after all.

Listen, if you care about the environment you’ll take whatever you can get, but I’m not sure we should let Ice Mountain go all warm and fuzzy about their “Green” efforts.  Bottled water is far from a “Green” industry. Ice Mountain is particularly infamous here in the mid-west where after being rebuffed in Wisconsin they went to Michigan to pull millions of gallons of water from the great lakes water shed to ship elsewhere setting a precedent that is neither environmentally wise or friendly.  But that’s a whole other article in itself.

So there I was reading this empty bottle and learning all about Ice Mountain’s new smaller cap.  Right below the bit where it says the Eco-Slim cap is “part of our ongoing effort to reduce our impact on the environment”, is another bit.  A warning that the new smaller cap poses a choking hazard. Yeah, I’ll buy that.  I certainly felt a bit dizzy from the spin.

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One Response to “Green Spin”

  • We buy Ice Mountain. I mostly drink from my aluminum bottle but the plastic ones are handy to store for spares in the car or grab if all mine are dirty and I’m in a hurry.I have to say that their “green” effort sucks. The smaller cap is harder for my not so nimble fingers to handle. And having less plastic in the bottles themselves mean I accidentally crush the thing just trying to drink out of it. We still get it because it has the best taste out of the waters I’ve tried but I’m glad I’m not using them on a daily basis anymore.


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