Paris Officials Give Away Designer Carafes to Promote Tap Water

April 1, 2005

According to recent polls, 51 percent of Parisians drink bottled water regularly. In an effort to convince them that tap water is just as good, as well as to reduce waste, the Paris municipality recently began distributing free designer carafes.

Fashion designer Pierre Cardin created the glass decanters, which carry the logo of public water company Eau de Paris and the Eiffel Tower.

"People buy bottled water because of the marketing, and we realized that if we were to win them back to the tap we would have to do some marketing of our own. It's all about giving Paris water an image and explaining why it is good for you," Franck Madureira of Eau de Paris told AFP news agency.

About 30,000 carafes have been produced. They are designed to fit in the door of a fridge and are meant to be filled with tap water, providing an environmentally friendly alternative to plastic bottles.

Eau de Paris, which distributed the carafes in front of the Hotel de Ville last week claims its mineral and sanitary quality is just as good as that of any bottled water.

"If we can tip the balance and get a majority of the population back drinking the tap variety, we will consider the campaign a success," Madureira said.

Half of the capital's water is pumped from the rivers Seine and Marne and purified at three plants. The remaining 50 percent comes from artesian wells, which do not require pressure for the water to flow to the surface.

Source: BBC News & AFP