Sales of bottled water have tumbled after a backlash sparked by environmentalists who have labelled as “wasteful” and even a government spokesman branded it “immoral”.

According to the latest figures from TNS sales of bottled water were down 9% to £284m for the year to March. Prior to this year sales had been growing at more than 6% for more than a decade.

Concerns have arisen over the environmental costs of production and transport of bottled water as well the disposal of plastic bottles.