Bottled water is a multi-million dollar scam that is threatening the environment and sucking money out of people's pockets, the Green Party says.
"While tap water is better in some places than others, growing sales of single-use bottles are creating a significant problem, as well as costing more than petrol per litre," Green Party Waste-free Spokesperson Nandor Tanczos says.
A major new study from the US-Based Earth Policy Institute has highlighted the environmental cost of the growing trend to buy bottled water.
"This study shows that it costs 10,000 times more to create bottled water than tap water, and it takes 1000 years for the plastic bottles to biodegrade," Nandor says.
"That cost is simply too high for our environment to bear.
"Our landfills are already groaning under the weight of millions of tonnes of rubbish, and the craze of drinking bottled water is just adding to that.
"It's great to see people drinking fresh water as an alternative to lolly water, but in some places in New Zealand, such as Christchurch, the tap water is better than some of the bottled stuff.
"Water utility companies have not always helped, for example the decision to build the Waikato pipeline, but people need to be aware of the environmental cost of disposable plastic bottles. If Aucklanders want mineral water they could buy it in bulk in refillable containers and then fill up their bottles.
"Bottled water sellers could also help by providing a refill service."
"While it's great that people are drinking more water, it shouldn't be at such a large cost to the environment — or to consumers!" Nandor says.