Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Bottled Up Logic

According to Crain's Insider (subscription), there is some speculation that the expansion of the bottle bill to bottled water will be good for smart consumer choice: "Some see the new bottle bill less as a recycling measure than as a needed curb on bottled water. Bottlers say the law, which adds nickel deposits, will increase the price of bottled water by up to 70%. “Maybe more people will make the right consumer choice and not buy bottled water,” says Rob Moore of Environmental Advocates. “For people who decide to get ripped off, it will encourage them to recycle.”

This limited world view misconstrues the fact that the introduction of bottled water has led to many folks switching from sweetened soda to the healthier alternative. The concept that consumers choosing to buy bottled water are being, "ripped off," devolves from an elitist perspective that is hostile to free markets-and derisive of the idea that the folks know what's good for them. But, hey, that's the mindset behind all of the container deposit thinking.