Demand for bottled water has increased significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic. To meet this surge in demand, IBWA member companies have expanded production in order to provide their home and office customers and retail consumers with the bottled water they need.
In addition, bottled water companies are donating bottled water to charitable community organizations and other groups. As examples: bottler member Aqua Filter Fresh, Inc. came to the aid of Pittsburgh’s Allegheny County Police Department, supplying bottled water that was handed out along with 340 large pizzas for a social distancing drive-through party in Wilmerding, a town financially hard-hit by the pandemic. Primo Water North America is contributing to the United Way’s efforts to help people in need with food, shelter, and critical services, along with donating water to hospitals, first responders, and food banks in highly impacted U.S. communities. And bottler Culligan of Lewisburg and North Central PA, through the First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania, made a financial contribution to GIVING TUESDAY to help those fighting COVID-19 in its community.
In New York City, Niagara Bottling has donated more than a half a million bottles of water to relief efforts, as well as bottled water for numerous hospitals, food banks, and shelters throughout the United States. Danone Waters of America has also stepped in to provide support to New York City, donating more than 426,000 bottles of water for those working on the front lines at local hospitals. Nestlé Waters—in addition to donating water to communities in New York City; Flint, Michigan; and other locations—is providing bottles to local distilleries (distinguishable from bottles that contain water) to be filled with hand sanitizer for healthcare workers, first responders, and the public.
In addition, IBWA supplier members are also finding innovative ways to support those working on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. Polymer Solutions International donated 4,200 face shields to the Health Professionals and Allied Employees, the largest union of registered nurses and healthcare professionals in New Jersey, in addition to financial contributions to the South Jersey Food Bank, Woodford Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge, and the Ronald McDonald House. And Silgan, a producer of consumer goods packaging, has been making facemasks with its 3D printer and donating them to local care facilities in need.
IBWA’s member companies are working tirelessly around the clock to ensure the bottled water products are available to consumers. They’ve done this by:
- increasing bottling capacity
- acquiring extra packaging and materials
- working with retailers to determine demand
- hiring additional drivers and bottling plant workers.
It is important to note that no authority has directed consumers to stock up on bottled water in connection with the COVID-19 outbreak. (For information about preventative actions to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19, visit www.cdc.gov.) However, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends people should be prepared for the unexpected by having on hand:
- safe drinking water (at least 1 gallon of water per person per day)
- extra food
- other essential items, such as prescriptions and sanitary supplies.