A backlash against bottled water will prompt many consumers to return to tap water next year, Mintel has predicted.

Sales of bottled water in the UK were now worth £2bn a year, five times more than ten years ago - but this trend would change as consumers wised up to the consequences of buying it, it said.

"We predict 2008 will be the beginning of a significant backlash against plain bottled water as consumers become more aware of the environmental impact of bottling and shipping water from remote locations to their local supermarket," said Mintel. "Consumers will go back to the tap."