The July 13 editorial “Real cost of bottled water” makes the well-worn argument that bottled water exacts a heavy toll on the planet and seems to suggest that vending machines run 24 hours a day to deliver a liquid that we could get from our taps.

But those machines supply many drinks, and water is arguably the least damaging. People use vending machines for drinks when they are mobile, and opting for a juice, cola or sports drink instead is hardly a great green leap forward. In this sweltering summer heat, people will be purchasing chilled drinks. Is bottled water the worst of the options available?

If this is a purely environmental point, why is there no similar campaign against foreign wines? Why not protest the import of plastic-wrapped chunks of coagulated milk from Europe? And why not chastise people for drinking bottles of world beers instead of domestic drafts?

nicholas coldicott