Frank Yamrus on Bottled Water

One of the things I like best about blogging is being able to share other photographer's work. Frank Yamrus is based in San Francisco and has produced many stunning portfolios, including Rapture (check it out on his site). His latest work, Rune Lagu, discusses the bottled water industry.

Here is what he has to say...

"This series of typological photographs documents the plastic bottles that house our drinking water, an index of semiotics and perhaps an archive of evidence in a looming ecological crisis. In 2006, the global bottled water industry reached $50 billion with over 3,000 brands of bottled water worldwide, 180 in the United States. Just thirty years ago commercially produced bottled water barely existed in the United States – today, Americans are the leading consumers of bottled water at 32 billion liters per year.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, one in five Americans drinks only bottled water. In a July 2007 article in, Charles Fishman theorizes: “Bottled has become the indispensable prop in our lives and culture… . [T]he food phenomenon of our times… . A chilled plastic bottle of water in the convenience-store cooler is the perfect symbol of this moment in American commerce and culture. It acknowledges our demand for instant gratification, our vanity, our token concern for health.”

Considering that there is no evidence that bottled water is healthier than tap water; that 40% of bottled water comes from the tap; that 17 million barrels of oil are required to produce the plastic bottles used in the United States in one year; that 86% of plastic water bottles used in the United States become garbage or litter; its success seems illogical and unlikely. Recently, in the developed world, bottled water consumers are the folks most concerned with the very environmental and social issues associated with bottled water and sales growth has not stopped but is stalling. Perhaps a new awareness has pushed the bottled water industry to Mr. Gladwell’s epidemiological “Tipping Point?”

I am certain that tipping point will be reached sooner thanks to Frank's photographic essay.