Why Is Bottled Water So Expensive?

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

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.

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

Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg joined The Atlantic in 2011 to launch its video channel and, in 2013, create its in-house video production department. She leads the development and production of original documentaries, interviews, and other video content for The Atlantic. Previously, she worked as a producer at Al Gore’s Current TV and as a content strategist and documentary producer in San Francisco. She studied filmmaking and digital media at Harvard University.

Why Is Google Making Human Skin?

Hidden away on Google’s campus, doctors at a world-class life sciences lab are trying to change the way people think about their health.

Join the Discussion

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

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Videos

Why Is Google Making Skin?

Hidden away on Google’s campus, doctors are changing the way people think about health.

Video

How to Build a Tornado

A Canadian inventor believes his tornado machine could solve the world's energy crisis.

Video

A New York City Minute, Frozen in Time

This short film takes you on a whirling tour of the Big Apple

Video

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we save the night sky?

Video

The Pentagon's $1.5 Trillion Mistake

The F-35 fighter jet was supposed to do everything. Instead, it can barely do anything.

More in Video

Just In