I knew bottled water was a social ill but I didn’t know how damaging it was until I saw an explosive and compelling new documentary called Tapped.

With style, verve and righteous anger, the film exposes the bottled water industry’s role in suckering the public, harming our health, accelerating climate change, contributing to overall pollution, and increasing America’s dependence on fossil fuels. All while gouging consumers with exorbitant and indefensible prices.

Claire Thompson summed up the problem well in her post on the movie at Grist:

“Not only is it [bottled water] a clear waste of resources (only 20 percent of plastic water bottles used in the United States are recycled, and far too many of the rest probably end up in the Pacific Garbage Patch), it’s an incredible waste of money for consumers, who pay more than the price of gasoline for water that’s marketed as “pure,” but in reality is largely unregulated, full of harmful toxins like BPA, and far less safe for drinking than free tap water. (In fact, 40 percent of the time, bottled water is nothing but municipal tap water, freed from the government oversight that keeps it safe.)”

Watch the movie’s powerful trailer.

The film’s website lists where you can see the doc in the theater, and offers opportunities for hosting a screening of your own. (So far, it will be screened in a smattering of the coastal cities where you’d expect them to play.)

There’s also a Facebook page for the film and, most importantly for readers of this blog, ample tips on how to get involved in the effort to wean America of its pernicious bottled water habit. The first thing to do is stop drinking bottled water and gently but firmly urge your friends and family to follow suit — buying them a reusable thermos can be a useful incentive. You can also sign an online petition, tell Jennifer Aniston and Tom Brady to stop shilling for Smart Water, and call on Congress to adequately fund our water infrastructure, which in many regions consists largely of dilapidated, Civil War era-water and sewer pipes.

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