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|Manufacturer||The Coca-Cola Company|
|Country of origin||United States|
Dasani (//) is a brand of bottled water created by the Coca-Cola Company, launched in 1999, after the success of PepsiCo's Aquafina. It is one of many brands of Coca-Cola bottled water sold around the world. The product is tap water, filtered and bottled, with added sodium.
Coca-Cola uses tap water from local municipal water supplies, filters it using the process of reverse osmosis, and adds trace amounts of minerals, including magnesium sulfate (epsom salt), potassium chloride and sodium chloride (table salt).
Coca-Cola announced they would be distributing Dasani water in new packaging made of 30% plant-derived plastics. Unlike other plant-based packaging, the bottles are compatible with standard recycling plants and represent up to a 25% reduction in carbon emissions compared to standard water bottles, though this still represents 2000 times the energy usage of tap water.
There are six common Dasani bottle sizes sold in Canada: 355 mL (12 fl oz), 500mL, 591 mL (20 fl oz), 710 mL (24 fl oz), 1 L, and 1.5 L. Bottles are sold individually and in packs of 6, 12, and 24.
The first Dasani bottling plant in Canada was Calgary, Alberta. A second plant was later opened in Brampton, Ontario. The Calgary and Brampton plants produce Coca-Cola's plain-water (Dasani) and sugar-water (soft drinks) products. The company's administrative and marketing activities continue to be based in Atlanta, Georgia.
In early 2005, two flavored versions of Dasani were introduced: Dasani With Lemon and Dasani With Raspberry. Dasani with Strawberry has since been introduced. The flavored beverages are sweetened with sucralose.
Dasani was introduced to the Brazilian market in mid-2003, renamed as Aquarius. It was introduced to the Chilean market in 2005, including releases in regular, lemon and tangerine flavors. It was released in Colombia in late 2005 with their three regular flavors. In 2005, Dasani was introduced in the Argentinian market with the flavours peach, lemon, citrus and regular. It was also released under the name Ciel Dasani in Mexico in four flavours: lemon-cucumber, papaya-carrot, grapefruit and mandarin-green tea, but it was discontinued in 2006. It was also released in Peru, Ecuador, Paraguay, Uruguay and Honduras.
Prior to the launch, an article in The Grocer trade magazine had mentioned that the source of the Dasani brand water was treated tap water from Sidcup, a suburban area on the outskirts of London. By early March 2004, the mainstream press had picked up the story  and it became widely reported that Sidcup tap water, after being processed by reverse osmosis, had been remineralized, bottled and sold under the Dasani brand name in the UK. Although Coca-Cola never implied that the water was being sourced from a spring or other natural sources, they marketed it as being especially "pure". This led the Food Standards Agency (FSA) to request Hillingdon trading standards officers to launch an investigation into whether the claim was accurate.
Richard May, Chief Publicity Officer of Dasani, was said to be disappointed that the water had not been more successful.
On 18 March 2004, UK authorities found a batch was contaminated with levels of bromate, a suspected human carcinogen, in a concentration above the legal limit for sale, although the FSA announced there was "no immediate risk to public health" from the contamination. Coca-Cola immediately recalled half a million bottles and withdrew the "Dasani" brand from the UK market.
The launch, and later contamination scandal, drew comparisons in the press with a 1992 episode of popular sitcom Only Fools and Horses, "Mother Nature's Son" in which lead character Del Boy (David Jason) hatches a scheme selling tap water bottled in his council flat in Peckham—nine miles from Sidcup. As a result, Coca-Cola cancelled plans to expand the brand to continental Europe.
In line with the 2012 Summer Olympics and being the official drink sponsor, Coca-Cola decided not to reintroduce the Dasani brand to the UK market, and purchased the Morpeth, Northumberland-based Abbey Well bottler in 2008, branded under the Schweppes brand name (which Coca-Cola holds the UK rights to) to provide a locally sourced water brand for the event. To meet Olympic branding regulations, Abbey Well water was labeled as "Still Water" for on-camera appearances during the Games.
Republic of Ireland
In Ireland, it is marketed as Deep River Rock. The item is sold within various market places and other convenience stores throughout the area.
Water Sources and Purification Process
Dasani is sourced from local municipal tap water supplies, and then filtered in bottled water plants before being bottled. Places Dasani sources its water from include: California, Minnesota, Arizona, Colorado, and Michigan. Dasani also bottles internationally, in locations such as Kent in the United Kingdom and Malaysia.
Filtration and Purification Process
This filtration process consists of a multi-barrier treatment system using disinfecting, reverse osmosis, and nanofiltration to remove impurities. Coca-Cola claims that this process provides a consistent taste, though the content within the bottles may vary across the world, depending on their source, despite often testing to ensure they meet FDA standards for purified water. Some states allow bottled water plants to meet the EPA's Safe Drinking Water Act instead of the FDA's standards for purified water, so not even all Dasani bottles may be held to the same standard. It has been found that bottled water, Dasani included, may be no cleaner than tap water.
Dasani sources water from municipal tap water in California locations, even during drought years. Coca-Cola is not required to report how much tap water it processes and bottles at these plants. Bottled water is an exception to the rule about how much water can be taken out of the Great Lakes Basin. Bottled water takes extra energy to produce from filtration, production of bottles, and transportation costs.
Financial Inequity in Detroit
Though Detroit has shut off water supply to homes more than $150 behind in their municipal water bills, Dasani plants in Detroit have been in tens of thousands of dollars behind on their municipal water bills and still received municipal water. The amount of money the US spends on bottled water could be used to build three times the water infrastructure needed to deliver clean water around the world.
Aluminum Bottles and Cans
In the summer of 2019, Coke announced that Dasani will become available in aluminum cans. This new line began in the Northeast US in September, and should spread through the rest of the US in 2020. This will not entirely replace their production of plastic bottles. Whether this is environmentally beneficial can be argued: aluminum is more often and more efficiently recycled, but producing one aluminum can produces 1,300g carbon dioxide emissions, which is much more than the 330g it takes to produce one plastic bottle of the same size. Less power is needed to transport and refrigerate canned beverages, which reduces the carbon footprints of cans. Additionally, 69% of aluminum cans are recycled worldwide, but less plastic packaging is recycled.
In 2019, Coke announced Dasani Purefill, a program in which customers can refill their bottles with filtered water for free. Adding flavors or carbonation will cost extra. This is predicted to reduce the number of bottles used.
Coke released a Dasani bottle composed of both plants and recycled plastic, which they say will reduce their plastic bottle production by 1 billion plastic bottles over the next 5 years. This PlantBottle is still recyclable, just like PET plastic. The composition of this bottle will be up to 50% recycled plastic, up to 30% plants, and new plastic. This makes Coca-Cola the largest bioplastic user in the world. Coca-Cola plans to eventually switch to 100% bio-plastic bottles.
Having multiple bottling water facilities across the world reduces energy used for transportation. Cans have a larger carbon footprint than plastic bottles, so this switch to aluminum cans may overall increase Dasani's carbon footprint.
In 2020, Dasani will premier new labels for their bottles with instructions on recycling, referred to as "How2Recycle" labels. The "How2Recycle" label was invented by the Sustainable Packaging Coalition and GreenBlue, and can already be found on other products.
Health Issues and Water Contaminants
Dasani water has been found to contain thousands of microplastics. Microplastics may be linked to diabetes, heart disease, obsesity, cancer, reproductive problems, and attention deficit disorder.
Public Litter Issues
Plastic bottles account for 30% of the waste in the Grand Canyon, where Dasani water is the water sold by the parks. The National Park Service considered banning plastic bottles in the park, but Coca-Cola blocked the ban. The Grand Canyon officially banned bottled water in 2012.
References and footnotes
- "Coke Enters North American Bottled Water Market With 'Dasani'". beverageonline.com. Retrieved 20 September 2019.
- "Soft drink is purified tap water". BBC News. 1 March 2004.
- "Can The PlantBottle Save The Bottled Water Industry?". Fast Company. 19 March 2004.
- "Coca-Cola pulls Dasani launch in Europe". CBC News. 24 March 2004.
- Bill Garrett (16 June 2004). "Coke's water bomb". BBC News Online. Retrieved 21 June 2008.
- Michael McCarthy (20 March 2004). "Pure? Coke's attempt to sell tap water backfires in cancer scare". The Independent. London. Retrieved 21 June 2008.
- Matthew Beard (2 March 2004). "The real thing? Coke's water comes straight from the tap with a cool mark-up of 3,000 per cent". The Independent. London. Retrieved 21 June 2008.
- Matthew Beard (3 March 2004). "Inquiry into Coke's tap water". The Independent. London. Retrieved 21 June 2008.
- "Coke recalls controversial water". BBC. 19 March 2004.
- "Coke pulls plug on £70m Dasani". Evening Standard. 25 March 2004. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
- "New logo: Schweppes Abbey Well". The Branding Source. 16 March 2012. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
- Lurie, Julia (11 August 2014). "Why Bottled Water Comes From California, Which Can't Spare Much". The Atlantic. Retrieved 26 April 2020.
- "Aquafina to say it comes from same source as tap water". ABC News. Retrieved 26 April 2020.
- "A Look at Bottled Water". health.state.mn.us. Retrieved 26 April 2020.
- Felton, Ryan (23 April 2020). "How Pepsi and Coke make millions bottling tap water, as residents face shutoffs". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 26 April 2020.
- LaFond, Kaye. "Why it's so hard to know exactly how much of Michigan's water is bottled and sold". michiganradio.org. Retrieved 26 April 2020.
- "Don't drink the water". the Guardian. 18 April 2004. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
- "Singapore's S$134m bottled water addiction". CNA. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
- Fineman, Joel (9 August 2011). "Where Your Bottled Water Comes From". US News. Retrieved 26 April 2020.
- "Your Bottled Water Probably Has Plastic in It. Should You Worry?". Time. Retrieved 4 May 2020.
- Elejalde-Ruiz, Alexia. "Water in aluminum bottles. Straw-less lids. Reusable cups. As plastic waste concerns grow, the search for sustainable packaging has gone mainstream". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved 26 April 2020.
- "Coca-cola to begin selling Dasani water in aluminum cans". FOX 7 Austin. 14 August 2019. Retrieved 26 April 2020.
- Beachum, Lateshia (23 January 2020). "Environmentalists want Coca-Cola to ditch its plastic bottles. The company says people like them too much". The Washington Post. Retrieved 26 April 2020.
- "Plastic bottles vs. aluminum cans: who'll win the global water fight?". Reuters. 17 October 2019. Retrieved 26 April 2020.
- "Factbox: Aluminum cans get boost from anger over plastic pollution". Reuters. 17 October 2019. Retrieved 4 May 2020.
- News, Thomas Mulier, Corinne Gretler, Bloomberg. "Bottlers want to profit from your tap water". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 4 May 2020.
- Business, Danielle Wiener-Bronner, CNN. "Coca-Cola will sell Dasani in aluminum cans and bottles". CNN. Retrieved 26 April 2020.
- Knutzen, Miki (February 2016). "PlantBottle® Packaging" (PDF). USDA.
- "Plastics: What's Recyclable and What Becomes Trash- And Why". apps.npr.org. Retrieved 4 May 2020.
- Brueck, Hilary. "Bottled water from major brands like Aquafina, Nestle, and Dasani has been found to contain tiny plastic particles that you're drinking". Business Insider. Retrieved 26 April 2020.
- Nestle, Marion (15 November 2011). "Why the Grand Canyon Is Being Buried in Empty Dasani Bottles". The Atlantic. Retrieved 26 April 2020.
- Hayden, Erik (9 February 2012). "The Grand Canyon Bans Sales of Bottled Water". Time. ISSN 0040-781X. Retrieved 4 May 2020.