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Bottled Life (2012)
The Corporate Take on Water
This admittedly disturbing documentary follows some Nestle corporation’s business practices. As the planet’s largest food and beverage company, Nestle takes a pretty aggressive approach to how it pursues bottled water as a beverage product.
As the documentary unfolds, the viewer gets a glimpse of the manner in which this company exploits local environments, and corresponding governments, in the unquenchable pursuit of greater profits.
While the realization of this corporate behavior can leave the viewer unsettled, it also encourages active involvement, as an informed citizenship (and consumer) can subsequently learn to make better choices. I encourage you to give it a view.
Nestle’s Extensive Reach
If you would like to to know more about Nestle’s water practices specifically, there are a number of really good articles out there that break it down, including Bloomberg‘s “Nestlé Makes Billions Bottling Water It Pays Nearly Nothing For” and “The Privatization of Water,” by the Centre for Research on Globalization.
The nature of the debate revolves around the question of ownership when it comes to water rights. While it is undeniably an essential human need, Nestle argues on behalf of corporations. According to Nestle, companies should have the right to access public water and be able to profit from it.
They bring up a very good question. Who actually owns the water? Is it a public good, or rather something than belongs exclusively to citizens and living beings? Who’s need is greater? Watch this doc if you need help deciding.