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Fiji Water: Where bottled water, money, and ethics conflict

Fiji Water, one of the world's most well-promoted brands of bottled water, is also one of the most secretive and private. Owned by Lynda and Stewart Resnick, the increasingly controversial Southern California billionaires, Fiji Water is a symbol of both the bad and the good in the world of bottled water. "Bad" because the massive energy cost and plastic waste produced by shipping bottled water thousands of miles from the island of Fiji to markets in the United States and around the world, and because of their interactions with the unelected military regime in Fiji, which came to power in a coup in 2006. The country has been under martial law since 2009. "Good" because of the benefits the company claims to offer in the way of jobs and other economic returns to local communities in Fiji, and because of their much publicized claims to be "carbon negative" -- a claim, by the way, that cannot be independently verified with information provided publicly by the company. Despite their efforts to keep a low profile, however, Fiji Water is in the news, in a big way. Read the Gleick's full article.