, but environmentalists are speaking out in their opposition to the popular product.
If the number of bottled waters consumed by Americans annually were laid out end to end, they would stretch around the globe 500 times, according to the Sierra Club's Ruth Caplan, who appeared on CNBC's "
"We all agree that hydration is important," Caplan said. "It's a matter of what kind of impact (occurs) on the environment." She recommended that people bottle tap water in safe, reusable bottles instead.
However, Joseph Doss, president of the International Bottled Water Association, said that bottled water is a safe, convenient product that consumers use to stay hydrated. "Any efforts to discourage use of bottled water is not in the public interest," Doss said.
Caplan countered that bottled water negatively affects global warming, energy use, and the overall distribution of water.
"Right now the corporations are controlling the distribution of the drinking water in bottles," Caplan said. "If they come to control all of the distribution of water by privatizing our municipal systems, which they also want to do, then they'll be able to charge whatever the market will bear."