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The battle over bottled vs. tap water

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Although one of the most targeted demographics for bottled water, teenagers and young adults appear to be scrutinizing bottled-water's impact. "Since [2006], we have seen interest soar from about 10 colleges with TOTB campaigns to at least 36 very active ones now all over the country," says Deborah Lapidus, national campaigns director for Corporate Accountability International.

She estimates that there may be as many as 100 more such "boycott the bottle" groups at various stages of organization in the US and Canada, with new groups forming monthly. In addition, roughly 12,000 people, mostly college students, have signed a TOTB pledge to not buy bottled water.

It's enough to make producers of bottled water nervous.

After student groups at Boston College and Vermont's Middlebury College persuaded their schools to terminate lucrative contracts with bottled water companies, their student newspapers received letters from the American Beverage Association (ABA) and Nestlé Waters North America, reminding a generation of new customers that they have worked to improve recycling while keeping an "on-the-go society" hydrated.

But for Tufts students like Daniel, greener efforts may no longer be enough. When she learned that as much as 40 percent of bottled water comes from municipally managed water sources, and not the pristine springs she imagined, she decided to seal the cap once and for all.

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