Professor Tim Lang's opinion on bottled water lacked understanding about bottled water as a product, its UK market growth and the real eco-cost of the public water supply ('The true cost of bottling water', The Grocer, 14 July, p23). He cites figures from the US and Switzerland, making unsubstantiated claims about the UK. He also quotes Mayor Newsom of San Francisco's claim that PET bottles used for bottled water contain phthalates, which has been disproved repeatedly over the past few years. The eco-lobby should accept bottled water has become a substitute for carbonates. As the soft drinks industry also uses PET bottles, a ban of PET-bottled waters would only result in product switching, with similar numbers of PET bottles being sent to landfill. It would also raise sales of beverages the government is trying to reduce. Lang should also reconsider the eco-cost of maintaining the public water supply system. The average level of water utility leakage in England and Wales is 22% and nearly 50% in Scotland. The generators and power tools used to repair leakages have a large carbon footprint. The UK water utilities provide affordable, good-quality water for domestic, industrial and agricultural use, but that does not make it right to ban water sold in PET bottles, unless the use of them is banned for all beverages. More than 85% of the bottled water we drink is produced from naturally sustainable sources, and 75% is bottled in the UK. It's a healthy product, available in PET and glass bottles, which can be recycled and reused in food grade quality packaging. There are more effective ways of saving the planet than giving up bottled water.