Social enterprise takes on bottled water companies

A social enterprise is taking on bottled water companies with a DIY bottled water kit.

Tap, which was launched last week, is selling packs of stickers for people to fix onto their own water bottles to encourage people to refill their bottles with tap water.

It is also asking consumers to take the ‘tap challenge' to see if they can tell the difference between bottled and tap water. The tap challenge pack includes advice on setting up a water tasting, tips from a professional sommelier on tasting water and a guide to requesting tap water in restaurants.

Joshua Blackburn, founder of Tap, said most people were not aware that until the recent fuel crisis, bottled water was more expensive than petrol. It costs between 240 and 10,000 times as much as tap water.

"The bottled water industry is a triumph of marketing over common sense," he said. "It has become a symbol of our disposable culture at its dumbest. In countries such as Britain, where high quality water is literally on tap, it's time to bin the bottle."

Seventy per cent of Tap's profits will fund water projects in the developing world, and the company will campaign to highlight the environmental and economic problems caused by bottled water.

The idea was conceived by Michael Norton, founder of the Centre for Innovation in Voluntary Action (CIVA). The company is funded by communications agency Provokateur and social enterprise water company Belu.

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