Exclusive: Exports of bottled water spike as pressure on water resources grows

Sales of bottled water are rising and hundreds of millions of litres are being exported out of the country at a time when England’s rivers are coming under increasing pressure and public water supplies are running low, ENDS can reveal.

Despite dire Environment Agency (EA) warnings that demand for water could outstrip supply within 20 years, the amount of bottled water sent out of the UK shot up by more than half (57%) between 2010 and 2018, to 628,000 tonnes, according to an analysis of HM Revenue & Customs figures. 

And despite ongoing efforts to get people to use less water and fewer single-use plastics, sales of bottled water within the UK rose by 7% in 2018 to 4.3 billion litres compared with 2017, according to food and drink consultancy Zenith Global, with UK-sourced water making up 84% of the volume.  

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