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Plastic WaterThe Social and Material Life of Bottled Water$
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Gay Hawkins, Emily Potter, and Kane Race

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780262029414

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262029414.001.0001

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(p.213) 9 Conclusions
Plastic Water

Gay Hawkins

Emily Potter

Kane Race

The MIT Press

This chapter begins with an analysis of various state responses to bottled water markets from the branding of public water utilities to bans on using bottled water in government meetings. It then seeks to assess the wider effects and implications of the rise of bottled water markets, specifically the way in which bottled water as an issue is connected to wider water biopolitics. Bottled water markets are shown to have insidious effects that involve various forms of ontological interference with taps and the belief that water is a common good and central to sociality. These effects include transferring responsibility for the provision of safe water to the corporation and the individual consumer, undermining trust in public utilities and the way in which bottles become normalised as the best solution to growing issues of water risk and scarcity.

Keywords:   Biopolitical value of water, Water and sociality, Ontological interference, Branding utilities, Public trust

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