Chinese: Embrace Bottled Water, Drink Less Soda Drinks

About 15 or 20 years ago, many Chinese were puzzled, when watching US movies, why those foreigners did not use thermos flasks, as boiled water, kept warm in thermoses, was still the most common daily drink of Chinese people.

In the past fifteen years, soda drinks, such as Coca Cola, the most famous among them, have changed from stylish symbols among the young generation to common drinks shared by people of all ages.

However, water is back in fashion, but nowadays people drink bottled water rather than boiled water. Bottled mineral water is much more popular than boiled water, because it is believed to be good for people's health.

Today's Chinese can buy high-quality bottled water at the grocery store, that is produced in different parts of the country, from East China's Qiandao Lake to Northwest China's Tianshan Mountain and even from places abroad, like France.

Traditional Chinese tea remains popular not only among elderly people but also the new generation, but the youth drink canned tea rather than hot tea from the teapot.

Experts here noted that consumers prefer bottled water as it is more "natural" than soda drinks and cleaner than tap water. More and more urban families are also using water filters at home.

About one-third of Beijing's 2.03 million families are equipped with water filters and over 100,000 water fillers are used in offices. The country spends an average of 500 million yuan on drinking water annually.

However, these changes are not as perfect as they seem. About two-third of China's 668 cities surveyed face water supply shortages and people in some remote villages still do not have access to tap water.

Pollution of water supplies is also a concern as over 60 percent of rivers running through urban areas are polluted.

Experts said that the common use of water filters shows people's worry about the quality of drinking water.

People's Daily Online ---