Get Off the Bottle

Taking a Look at Bottled Water

Bottled water costs up to 2,000 times more per volume than tap water. About 64% of commercial bottled water is just tap water that’s been filtered or purified. Approximately 70% of plastic water bottles are not recycled -- and still people drink from them.

Getting Off the Bottle is more than a slogan, it's a necessity for the earth and for retaining water as a public resource. In buying bottled water, consumers are inadvertently legitimizing the capture of water that belongs to all of us by private, for-profit companies who reap unearned, enormous riches. Water belongs to the public and cannot be privately owned. Turning water into a product for private profit is inconsistent with the 1,500-year-old public trust doctrine of law and risks putting all water up for grabs.

FLOW's Get Off the Bottle campaign is designed to help you understand what's at stake, occasionally use some humor to make a point, and inspire you to take action in your daily life.









In 2016, 12.8 billion gallons of bottled water were purchased in the U.S.


In many cases, health standards for tap water are stricter than those for bottled water.


Well over half of purchased plastic single-serve bottles are not recycled.


In blind taste tests, consumers often rank tap water ahead of some types of bottled water.


Bottled water costs up to 2,000 times more per volume than tap water.


90% of bottled water contain microplastics. Concentrations in bottled water roughly double those in tap water.


Bottled water companies do not have to produce quality reports for their consumers.

Misleading Labels

About 64% of bottled water comes from municipal water systems.

Environmental Harm

By 2050, it is estimated that there will be more plastic by weight in our oceans than fish.

What You Can Do:

  • Take the pledge and commit to Getting Off the Bottle.

  • Use a reusable water bottle.

  • Ask your city officials to install water filling stations in local parks.

  • Drink from the tap or a drinking fountain & skip the straw.

  • Support policies that promote clean, affordable, and public water. 

  • Participate in FLOW's Get Off the Bottle campaign by spreading the word, buying a sticker or yard sign, or donating.

  • Sign up for FLOW's newsletter to stay up to date on this campaign and other important Great Lakes news.

Stickers & Yard Signs:


Stop by the FLOW office to purchase a Get Off the Bottle sticker or a yard sign to support the cause!

Story of Stuff Bottled Water Videos:

Additional Resources:



News Updates:

  • WHO launches health review after microplastics found in 90% of bottled water

    What's in your bottled water? A new analysis of some of the world’s most popular bottled water brands found that more than 90% contained tiny pieces of plastic. A previous study also found high levels of microplastics in tap water.

    The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced a review into the potential risks of plastic in drinking water.

    In one bottle of Nestlé Pure Life, concentrations were as high as 10,000 plastic pieces per litre of water. Of the 259 bottles tested, only 17 were free of plastics, according to the report.

    Read the full article at The Guardian.