Polaris Institute salutes massive community protest of Coke and Pepsi plants in India
Communities in India are showing tremendous courage and leadership as they directly challenge– Coca-Cola and Pepsi with a human chain of peaceful protest and resistance at nearly 90 company plants throughout the country. These companies have been responsible for massive water takings, pollution and selling their products which contain unacceptable levels of pesticides
From Plachimada, Kerala and Mehdiganj, Uttar Pradesh to national government buildings –opposition to these corporate abuses is growing.
The resistance is being heard around the world as communities in North, Central and South America and Europe join in solidarity with communities in India.
Tony Clarke, Director of the Polaris Institute has just returned from India where he participated in solidarity events challenging these corporate water takings.
The soda giants are quickly moving into new markets with new products – particularly bottled water. Over the past decade, sales in bottled water have exploded. Bottled water sales are now the fastest growing segment of the entire beverage industry.
Four big companies --- Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Nestle and Danone dominate the bottled water industry.
Bottled water sales are now the fastest growing segment of the entire beverage industry. Bottled water appears to be the “fool’s gold” of the beverage industry, with consumers paying up to 10,000 times more for it than tap water. Coca-Cola and Pepsi products actually originate from municipal tap water systems.
Clarke presented the activists in India who are part of a global movement challenging these companies with a new book written and published by the Polaris Institute.
Inside the Bottle: An ExposÚ of the bottled Water Industry provides a disturbing portrayal of how the Big 4 companies, Coca-Cola, Pepsico, Danone and NestlÚ are gouging citizens, damaging the environment and producing a product that is not as pure, healthy and safe as these corporations promote. The book also depicts the locations of nearly 70 bottled water plants in North America.
Inside the Bottle examines key issues of public concern about these corporation including how they;
pay little or next to nothing for the water they take from rural springs or public water systems;
turn ‘water’ into ‘water’ through elaborate treatment processes; produce a product that is not necessarily safer than, nor as regulated as, tap water; package it in plastic bottles made of toxic chemicals that are environmentally destructive; market it to an unsuspecting public as ‘pure, healthy, safe drinking water.’ sell it at prices that are hundreds and even thousands of times more costly than ordinary tap water.
This book also identifies what people can do in their communities to:
stimulate public awareness and debate about these issues.
challenge and resist the more exploitive practices of the big-4 bottled water companies.
promote the rebuilding of public tap water systems and services.
develop alternative models of bottled water production that are locally controlled and ecologically sustainable.
To view a preview of the book check out www.polarisinstitute.org