By the Numbers: Bottled Water Reaches a Popularity Milestone

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The year 2016 has the potential to go down in history for various reasons. One of them: It’s the year bottled water will outsell soda in the United States for the first time.

The national beverage-preference milestone, which has been on the horizon for a while, stems not only from health concerns about soda — which, Bloomberg recently noted, drove consumption to a 30-year low in 2015 — but also a large uptick in Americans choosing bottled water over tap. Bottled water is valued because of its portability as well as its potability. After lead contamination issues in places like Flint, Mich., Washington, D.C., and Newark, N.J., made headlines, people became concerned about the safety of the H2O flowing from their taps.

Here are a few illuminating numbers plucked from Bloomberg’s recent report about bottled water’s big year:

2,000: How many times more expensive bottled water is than tap water, on average

3: How many times more water is used to make a bottle of water than the bottle actually contains

30: The percent of plastic bottles that are recycled

27.4: Gallons of bottled water the average American will drink in 2016

26.2: Gallons of soda the average American will drink in 2016

1.2: Gallons more bottled water than soda the average American will drink this year

2: Percent PepsiCo’s carbonated soft-drink volume declined in the first quarter of 2016

3: Percent by which Dr Pepper’s Canada Dry, 7Up, A&W and Sunkist soda volume declined in the first quarter of 2016

2: Digits by which PepsiCo and Dr Pepper’s water business grew in the first quarter of 2016

10,000: The number of public school students in Flint, Mich., to whom Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Nestle and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. plan to provide free bottled water this year

2000: The year Quaker Oats Co.’s U.S. beverage division president Susan D. Wellington told industry analysts of the company’s bottled-water marketing efforts: “When we’re done, tap water will be relegated to showers and washing dishes.”

We’re filing that under H2 … whoa.

Photo courtesy of iStock