Why Is Bottled Water So Expensive?

Business editor Derek Thompson looks at how such a simple commodity became as pricey as soda. 

More

In Economics in Plain English, the new economic explainer video series from The Atlantic, business editor Derek Thompson answers big and small questions selected from hundreds of reader submissions. Up first: Why is bottled water so expensive? In less than three minutes, Thompson explains what goes into the price of bottles, why all water is more expensive than you think, and why the most expensive component in some bottled water is neither the bottle nor the water. 

Don't miss Thompson's introduction to the project and stay tuned for the rest of the series in the next two weeks. 

Thanks to Tom Cascino of Broke for Free for letting us feature "Warm Up Suit" in the video. Check out more of his music here.

Jump to comments

Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg is the executive producer for video at The AtlanticMore

Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg's work in media spans documentary television, advertising, and print. As a producer in the Viewer Created Content division of Al Gore's Current TV, she acquired and produced short documentaries by independent filmmakers around the world. Post-Current, she worked as a producer and strategist at Urgent Content, developing consumer-created and branded nonfiction campaigns for clients including Cisco, Ford, and GOOD Magazine. She studied filmmaking and digital media at Harvard University, where she was co-creator and editor in chief of H BOMB Magazine.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Sad Desk Lunch: Is This How You Want to Die?

How to avoid working through lunch, and diseases related to social isolation.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Where Time Comes From

The clocks that coordinate your cellphone, GPS, and more

Video

Computer Vision Syndrome and You

Save your eyes. Take breaks.

Video

What Happens in 60 Seconds

Quantifying human activity around the world

Writers

Up
Down

Just In