Filmmakers Investigate Bottled Water Industry

Americans throw out 30 billion plastic bottles every year.

So what does this mean for the environment?

That's exactly what Stephanie Soechtig is trying to find out. She has been driving around the country showcasing the negative effects of the bottled water industry in a translucent truck. As plastic accumulates in her truck, Soechtig asks people to reduce their bottled water use by handing out reusable Klean Kanteen containers in exchange for plastic bottles.

Schoetig and producer Sara Olson hit the road on March 22 to promote their recent documentary called "Tapped," which explores the environmental consequences of bottled water, and the pair have been promoting its message while canvassing the country. Before concluding their tour in Connecticut, Schoetig and Olson stopped in New York City where "The Early Show" crew visited their truck.

So why has Schoetig been collected these bottles?

"We've been trying to educate people that bottled water is one of the biggest marketing scams of all time," explained Soechtig. "Forty percent of bottled water is really just filtered tap water, and every day we throw away 30 million single-served bottles of water."

Soechtig gestured towards her truck, saying, "This represents about four seconds worth of what we throw away every single day."

All the disposed plastic has serious consequences for the ocean and landfills it ends up in.

"It's had a tremendous impact," said Soechtig. "There's a soup of plastic in the North Pacific that's twice the size of Texas. ... So this type of plastic getting in the environment is hurting the sea life; it's hurting us; it's ending up back in the food chain. Every step along the way seems to be bad. ... Plastic is a byproduct of oil, so from the production of the plastic all the way through the disposal it just has a tremendous carbon footprint."

Soechtig is supplying people with Klean Kanteens, a reusable metal water bottle meant to be filled with tap water.

"Early Show" co-anchor Maggie Rodriguez noted that the Klean Kanteens were an economical alternative to bottled water.

"I only drink tap water," said Rodriguez. "It's saved me a ton of money."
  • CBSNews

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