Bottled water reaches new peaks in revenue and volume

May 25, 2023
About 15.9 billion gallons of bottled water had been sold in 2022, its highest volume ever, and retail sales neared $46 billion.

The Beverage Marketing Corporation (BMC) reports that bottled water reached new peaks in both volume consumed and sales in 2022.

The corporation says that bottled water’s total volume sold in 2022 was 15.9 billion gallons, its highest volume ever, surpassing carbonated soft drinks for the seventh year in a row. In terms of retail dollars, 2022 sales approached $46 billion, up from $40.8 billion in 2021.

“Numerous qualities account for bottled water’s unceasing resonance with U.S. consumers, including its associations with healthfulness, convenience, safety, and value,” said John G. Rodwan, Jr., BMC’s editorial director. “Even where tap water may be safe and readily available, people may prefer bottled water, which they often believe tastes better.”

Consumer demand for bottled water has significantly contributed to the industry’s growth (30% since 2012), as people continue to switch from other less-healthy packaged drinks to bottled water.

Most bottled water is packaged in 100% recyclable PET #1 plastic and HDPE #2 plastic, which are the plastics most recognized by consumers as being recyclable and the most recycled plastics in the world. Bottled water’s recyclability distinguishes it from other common plastic products such as non-recyclable plastic items (e.g., straws, cutlery, and plates); certain food and goods packaging (e.g., film, heat-sealed and multi-layered laminate bags) and containers (e.g., non-PET, HDPE, and PC bottles and tubs).

Recycling facilities know that there is a huge industry demand for post-consumer PET and HDPE plastics. Many bottled water companies use recycled PET and HDPE plastic to create new bottles, which helps to reduce their environmental impact further because they aren’t using virgin plastic.

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