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Article

Beth Choate, Brittany Y. Davis and Jacqueline Verrecchia

The purpose of this study was to identify how to reduce bottled water use on our campus, given that the majority of students were bringing it onto campus from outside…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to identify how to reduce bottled water use on our campus, given that the majority of students were bringing it onto campus from outside sources. Bottled water bans have been implemented on several college and university campuses in an effort to reduce the consumption of bottled water and the associated waste. Observations on the campus of Allegheny College demonstrated that while bottled water was being consumed, students were not purchasing those bottles on campus.

Design/methodology/approach

To identify methods to reduce bottled water prevalence on campus, alter negative perceptions of local tap water and create behavioral changes among student, an environmental science class surveyed the student body. Students were asked about their preferred type of drinking water and why they preferred one type to another, as well as additional questions about reusable bottle ownership and usage.

Findings

The data identified that disposable bottled water was most commonly consumed by first year students, with rates of use decreasing the longer students are on campus. Many students were concerned about the safety of tap water and did not like the taste.

Originality/value

As a result of this survey, Allegheny College has increased the number of filtered, bottle refill stations throughout campus and provides a high-quality, metal water bottle to all students upon beginning their first year. Students are also provided information about the safety of Meadville tap water, as well as the environmental and social benefits of choosing tap water over bottled water.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 19 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

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Article

Wen Zheng, Senarath Dharmasena, Oral Capps Jr and Ramkumar Janakiraman

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the factors affecting consumer demand for and the effects on tax on sparkling and non-sparkling bottled water in the USA.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the factors affecting consumer demand for and the effects on tax on sparkling and non-sparkling bottled water in the USA.

Design/methodology/approach

Using nationally representative data from 62,092 households and tobit econometric procedure, conditional and unconditional factors affecting the demand for sparkling and non-sparkling bottled water were estimated.

Findings

The own-price elasticity of demand for sparkling and non-sparkling bottled water is −0.664 and −0.229, respectively. Coffee, fruit drinks, whole milk and tea are substitutes for non-sparking bottled water. Non-sparking bottled water, coffee, fruit drinks and whole milk are substitutes for sparking bottled water. Household income, race, region and presence of children significantly affect the demand for bottled water. A 10 percent increase in price due to a tax on bottled water decreased plastic use by 50 grams per household per year. This is equivalent to saving 9.5m pounds of plastic annually.

Research limitations/implications

Data used in this analysis only captured at-home consumption of bottled water by US households. While tax on bottled water may reduce the consumption of bottled water, it may increase the consumption of competitive beverages such as carbonated soft drinks or fruit drinks. Although the use of plastic with regards to water bottles may go down as a result of the tax, the plastic consumption could go up with regards to consumers’ increased purchase of other beverages. This might contribute net increase plastic bottle consumption, undermining the effects of a bottled water tax.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this study is the first to look at demand and tax aspects with regards to disaggregated bottled water products.

Details

Journal of Agribusiness in Developing and Emerging Economies, vol. 8 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2044-0839

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Article

Katja Mikhailovich and Robert Fitzgerald

This paper aimed to examine the impact of the removal of bottled water on the campus community. This paper presents the findings of a survey conducted at the first…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aimed to examine the impact of the removal of bottled water on the campus community. This paper presents the findings of a survey conducted at the first Australian university to remove single-use bottled water from sale on a small regional university campus. The removal of bottled water from sale at the university formed part of the university’s commitment to environmental sustainability.

Design/methodology/approach

The study was conducted substantially by undergraduate students who participated in an action learning project in which they assisted in the design, implementation and analysis of an online snapshot survey made available to all staff and students of the university.

Findings

The results indicated some evidence of changes to pro-environmental behaviors such as increased use of re-fillable bottles, but there were less desirable outcomes such as drinking less water. Community perceptions were dramatically polarized. Restrictions on freedom of choice, concerns about health as a result of increased use of high-sugar drinks and the continued availability of other plastic drink bottles were provided as strong objections to the removal of bottled water from sale on campus.

Practical implications

The study provides useful insights for university sustainability planners and administrators about the complex range of issues associated with the implementation of sustainability initiatives on a university campus.

Originality/value

While extensive literature exists about the environmental impacts of bottled water, few studies have explored the impacts or community responses to the removal of bottled water in the university context.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 15 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

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Article

Ryan Christopher Graydon, Paola Andrea Gonzalez, Abdiel Elias Laureano-Rosario and Guillermo Reginald Pradieu

Bottled water consumption continues to break records worldwide and its environmental impact is often underestimated by the consumer. Many factors affect individuals…

Abstract

Purpose

Bottled water consumption continues to break records worldwide and its environmental impact is often underestimated by the consumer. Many factors affect individuals’ choices to consume tap water and bottled water including perceived health risks and water quality. The University of South Florida (USF) has joined a nationwide initiative to become carbon-neutral, and reducing bottled water consumption was a chosen strategy. The purpose of this study was to assess the risk perceptions and drinking water choices of the USF-Tampa campus community.

Design/methodology/approach

A sample of 561 students, faculty and staff members responded to an online survey. The survey contained questions about the use of bottled water and tap water, reusable water bottles, risk perceptions and demographics.

Findings

The results revealed that certain groups – undergraduate students and ethnic/racial minorities (e.g. black/African American, Hispanic/Latino) – drank significantly more bottled water. Among political ideologies, Liberals drank the least bottled water. Females and minorities had significantly greater risk perceptions of the tap water on campus. Important perceived benefits were tap water being less expensive and better for the environment than bottled water. Important perceived barriers were poor tasting tap water and the desire for filtered water.

Originality/value

The findings suggest the need for public health campaigns to increase awareness of health, environmental and financial consequences of bottled water consumption. Such campaigns should aim to discourage bottled water and any potential increased sugar-sweetened beverage consumption while promoting tap water consumption.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 20 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

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Article

Justin Beneke, Ozayr Mathews, Travys Munthree and Kavesan Pillay

The purpose of this paper, conducted within an emerging market context, was to investigate the influence of colour in packaging on the purchase intent of consumers for…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper, conducted within an emerging market context, was to investigate the influence of colour in packaging on the purchase intent of consumers for bottled water. Colour, whether in branding or packaging, has always been an important attribute in attracting the attention of consumers. For years, bottled water packaging has largely centred on the colours blue and white. The study looked into the effect of cold colours, warm colours and neutral colours on the purchase intent for bottled water. It also analysed the influence of the demographic variables of age group, gender, language and income group on colour preferences of the product.

Design/methodology/approach

An experimental design was utilised for the purposes of this study. Data were collected by means of a mall intercept survey of South African consumers within suburban supermarket stores.

Findings

The findings determined that while consumers appear somewhat indifferent between colours, there is a greater preference for neutral colours as opposed to cold and warm colours in bottled water packaging. It was also determined that income has a significant influence in colour preference for bottled water, with lower income groups preferring cold and warm colours and higher income groups preferring neutral colours.

Research limitations/implications

This suggests that marketers of bottled water ought to pay close attention to these signals and optimise packaging accordingly. In particular, this study suggests that tailored coloured packaging can be used to target specific income groups in a more appropriate manner. This is particularly pertinent in an emerging market context, where income disparities are extremely prevalent. Small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and entrepreneurs can seize this opportunity to introduce niche products and stimulate innovation in a relatively stagnant marketplace.

Originality/value

As discovered in the course of this research, few studies have been undertaken to examine the effect of colour in packaging in the context of emerging markets and, notably, sub Saharan Africa. As such, the authors believe this is a significant contribution to the knowledge base. It is hoped that the results of this study will assist marketers, SMEs and entrepreneurs in improving understanding of how colours differentiate a product, particularly in a commodity merchandise category such as bottled water, the knowledge of which may be leveraged to tailor the positioning in the market.

Details

Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship, vol. 17 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-5201

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Article

Jeffrey Gauthier and Jeffrey A. Kappen

The purpose of this paper is to examine the rhetorical strategies used by organizations in support of propriety judgments concerning their products.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the rhetorical strategies used by organizations in support of propriety judgments concerning their products.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach taken entails discourse and rhetorical analysis of texts produced by leading firms in the bottled water industry, and by the industry’s trade association, surrounding issues of sustainability.

Findings

The analysis reveals rhetorical strategies invoked by firms to legitimate their economic, environmental and social performance.

Research limitations/implications

This paper’s primary contribution is to research that informs the discursive aspects of legitimacy. As well, this study contributes to our nascent understanding of the microfoundations of sustainability.

Originality/value

Our knowledge of how organizations use different discursive strategies in support of legitimacy is relatively underdeveloped. By examining rhetorical strategies used in support of propriety judgments concerning organizations’ environmental, social and economic legitimacy, this study begins to fill gaps in our understanding.

Details

Social Responsibility Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-1117

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Article

Vinicius Brei and Mark Tadajewski

This paper aims to account for the crafting of the constellation of brand and consumer values around an everyday product, that of bottled water. This paper situates the…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to account for the crafting of the constellation of brand and consumer values around an everyday product, that of bottled water. This paper situates the exponential growth of this market in its historical and cultural context, paying particular attention to the fostering of the “social conditions of possibility” for this product in the French market. The socio-historical context and the interplay of stakeholders to the respondents’ understanding and uses of bottled water, highlighting the importance of a range of factors that made this market and product resonate with their requirements, are linked.

Design/methodology/approach

This account responds to the call for more engagement with social theory in marketing and consumer research (Brownlie and Hewer, 2011). It also connects with recent scholarly pleas for a displacement of the consumer from the center of our analytic attention (Askegaard and Linnet, 2011; Holt, 2012). It does so by using the social praxeology approach associated with Pierre Bourdieu to study the affirmation and sedimentation of the practices surrounding the consumption of bottled water in France.

Findings

Influential institutional actors invoked discourses of purity, nature and health, juxtaposing these with the risks of tap water consumption. These were cemented by the influence of pediatricians who encouraged changes in family drinking habits which translated into long-term shifts in consumer behavior. By contrast to studies of different contexts, our respondents were greatly enamored by the materiality of the products themselves, using these in innovative ways for aesthetic pursuits. The social praxeology approach uncovers how brand and consumer value have been constructed in the French bottled water market.

Research limitations/implications

This study is based on the historical development and growth of the market for bottled water in France. It would be a valuable exercise to investigate other contexts to determine whether the strategies of symbolic competition, especially the use of expert intermediaries rich in cultural capital that can be identified, are reflected elsewhere.

Practical implications

Bottled water producers will have to confront the issue of the resource-intensiveness of their products. This feature stands in marked contrast to the symbolic capital and points of differentiation that producers have weaved around bottled water. Such contradictions will be exposed by actors in other fields (e.g. the environmental movement). This can be expected to have an impact on the consumption and viability of this market in future.

Originality/value

This paper uses a philosophical framework – social praxeology – to chart the development, affirmation and exponential growth of the bottled water market. Via a combination of historical re-construction and empirical research, it highlights the interactive relationships between government, producers and consumers, uncovering brand and consumer value creation.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 49 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

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Abstract

Details

Strategic Marketing Management in Asia
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-745-8

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Article

Angela Fedi, Francesco La Barbera, Annabelle De Jong and Chiara Rollero

The market of bottled water is one of the largest in the world. Paradoxically, the consumption of water in plastic bottles is highest in countries rich in the potable tap…

Abstract

Purpose

The market of bottled water is one of the largest in the world. Paradoxically, the consumption of water in plastic bottles is highest in countries rich in the potable tap water of excellent quality. This paper aims to gain a better understanding of the factors that foster or hinder the intention to use refillable water bottles by university students and to determine whether their study program played a moderating role.

Design/methodology/approach

Within the framework of Ajzen’s theory of planned behavior (TPB), this paper conducted this cross-sectional study to understand the influence of attitudes, norms and perceived behavioral control (PBC) on the intention to drink tap water from reusable bottles. Italian university students (n =540) majoring in the hard (42.4%) or the soft (57.6%) sciences completed an anonymous self-report questionnaire.

Findings

For both groups, there was a significant association between attitudes and intention to use a refillable water bottle. The intention to drink tap water was also influenced by PBC among the hard science students, whereas among the soft science students the descriptive norm exerted a significant influence.

Originality/value

This is the first application of TPB, a well-established theoretical and methodological framework, to understand the intention of university students to drink tap water from reusable bottles. Within the framework of TPB, this study is the first to address this specific pro-environmental behavior and explore the potential moderating role of university studies programs, which proved significant.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

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Article

Eman A.E. Badr, Asmaa A.E. Agrama and Safaa A.E. Badr

This study seeks to find out if chronic exposure via drinking water to high doses of a mixture of metals found as contaminants in tap and bottled water sources can alter…

Abstract

Purpose

This study seeks to find out if chronic exposure via drinking water to high doses of a mixture of metals found as contaminants in tap and bottled water sources can alter the systemic physiology of residents.

Design/methodology/approach

A case control study was designed, 18 subjects drinking mainly tap water as main group (group I) and 15 subjects drinking exclusively bottled water as control group (group II) for a minimum of two years. Cadmium, lead, chromium and iron concentrations in drinking tap and bottled water samples were measured. The effect potential of the same metals were evaluated by assessing liver and kidney functions and haemoglobin levels for the studied subjects.

Findings

Iron concentration was found to be significantly higher in drinking tap water samples compared to bottled. Chromium, lead and iron were significantly higher in blood samples of group I subjects compared to the control group. Blood creatinine levels were positively correlated with that of chromium and cadmium of group I; and chromium levels of group II. Urea levels was positively correlated with lead levels of group I. Haemoglobin was positively correlated with iron blood levels of group I and negatively with lead levels of group II. No appreciable changes were found in the blood clinical markers of the liver functions of either group.

Originality/value

This study gives a concise idea about the higher level of some heavy metals in tap water compared to bottled and how heavy metal contaminants in drinking water may affect kidney function and haemoglobin level of consumers.

Details

Nutrition & Food Science, vol. 41 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

Keywords

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