The ubiquitous plastic water bottle, long the bane of environmental campaigners, is being ditched by consumers in Europe and the US as incomes slump and people return to the tap for a free drink.
Sales of the world's best-known brands, including Aquafina and Volvic, have tumbled in some countries as weakening economies take a toll on household incomes and consumers become more concerned about the environmental impact of throwing away the plastic packaging of a liquid that can be drunk for free.
In the US, where bottled water consumption is higher than in any other country, supermarket sales are at their slowest rate since bottled water became popular a decade ago.
Total sales volumes are up just 1 per cent this year (including recently popular brands such as Glaceau that contain added vitamins and fruit infusions), according to US soft drinks newsletter Beverage Digest. This compares with growth of 11 per cent over the same period last year, and more than 21 per cent in 2006.
It's a shame that we have to come to a point of being economically forced to do something that is right for the environment but I'll take it where I can get it.