A few months back I first heard about the environmental impact of bottled water. I had always had water as a beverage over pop or juice just as a health thing. I knew what a business it had become, but i failed to take a step back and think about the greener picture.
This water is bottled at some 'special source' packaged and delivered. After you drink it (assuming you drink the entire bottle) you hopefully recycle it. More often than not that doesn't happen and the bottle becomes landfill. We haven't taken into account the resources required to ship the water sometimes across the ocean.
The fact that in many locations tap water has more rigid controls is incredible. So what it comes down to is that this is just a product of convenience. It's not any healthier, many times it's much worse than what's available for a fraction of the cost. Put a nice package on it, ship it across the ocean to justify the astronomical price and Bingo - You've got a tremendous waste of resources. It's a 35 billion dollar a year industry. This is better than having people buy baking soda to go home and toss straight in their garbage to make Garbage smell better.
The Economist is recognizing the scam, hopefully the problem will become mainstream.
If you don't like the flavour of tap water, get a Brita. Then get a Nalgene or something and just fill it up, you lazy bugger (and don't start about the carcinogens in the Nalgene type bottles, it's still inconclusive)
edit: Okay, don't get a plastic water bottle, it's fine for the environment-but it can give you cancer.