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North American consumers spend billions of dollars on bottled water each year even though access to clean tap water is readily available to most.

We launched the Take Back the Tap campaign to raise awareness about the environmental and social impacts of bottled water, and to encourage North Americans to choose the tap over the bottle.

Our demand for bottled water creates unnecessary plastic waste and consumes fossil fuels and fresh water at an alarming rate. The Pacific Institute in California estimates that bottled water uses up to 2,000 times more energy than tap water, and 3 liters of water are used to produce just 1 liter of bottled water. Not only is bottled water wreaking havoc on our environment, it’s also contributing to the privatization of fresh water sources and threatening citizens’ rights to a freely available clean water supply.

The Campaign

In July 2013, our North American shops became campaign centers where customers could learn how to take back the tap in their community. We sold limited edition bottles made by Washington State-based Liberty Bottleworks, donating $5 from each bottle sold to one of our three campaign partners. Our shops also became designated refill stations, meaning visitors could refill their reusable water bottles at any one of our shops.

The Outcome

By purchasing over 9000 reusable bottles, our customers helped raise $45,000 for our campaign partners: Wellington Water Watchers works to protect source water for the public, Living Lakes Canada supports citizen-based water stewardship, and Kurmalliance encourages the public to refuse single-use plastic products. Visit our partners’ websites to learn more about taking back the tap and keeping our water resources public.