CBS 'Early Show' Guilts Viewers to Give Up Bottled Water for Earth Day

Maggie Rodriguez and Stephanie Soechtig, CBS In the 8:30AM ET half hour of Thursday's CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez introduced an Earth Day segment by proclaiming: "Americans throw away more than 30 billion plastic bottles every year....We have a film maker, Stephanie Soechtig, here with us, she has a documentary out called 'Tapped,' which looks the impact that all those bottles have had on the environment."

Rodriguez invited Soechtig to explain her mission: "What has your message been?" Soechtig responded: "we've been trying to educate people that bottled water's one of the greatest marketing scams of all time. 40% of bottled water is really just filtered tap water. And every day we throw away 30 million single serve bottles of water." A headline on-screen read: "Early's Earth Day; Filmmaker Says 'Get Off the Bottle!'"

Soechtig warned of the "tremendous impact" of bottled water on the environment: "there's a soup of plastic in the north Pacific that's twice the size of Texas, that's just littered with plastic. So this type of plastic getting out in the environment is hurting our sea life, it's hurting us....plastic is a byproduct of oil. So from the production of the plastic all the way through the disposal, it just has a tremendous carbon footprint."

Rodriguez then described Soechtig's solution to the problem: "if you encounter Stephanie along her travels, she will likely give you one of these. It's a 'Clean Canteen.' And you're advocating putting tap water in these instead of drinking bottled water." With that, Rodriguez held up a reusable water container made of, you guessed it, plastic.

Wanting to point out her commitment to saving the planet, Rodriguez bragged: "I only drink tap water." Fill-in news reader Betty Nguyen chimed in: "I do, too." Rodriguez also observed: "By the way, it saves me a ton of money, to boot, not only saving the environment."

In concluding the segment, Rodriguez declared: "Stephanie, thank you....Thank you for helping us commemorate Earth Day. Important message." She then handed a 'Clean Canteen' to fellow co-host Harry Smith, who replied: "Thank you very much. I want one of those."  

In a similar demand for people not to use a particular product, on Wednesday, the Early Show touted a report asking the government to "take salt off the table." 

Here is a full transcript of the segment:

8:30AM

MAGGIE RODRIGUEZ: Welcome back to the Early Show on this Earth Day. Americans throw away more than 30 billion plastic bottles every year.

HARRY SMITH: Wait a minute, did you say billion? Billion with a 'B'?

RODRIGUEZ: 30 Billion with a 'B.'

SMITH: Okay.

RODRIGUEZ: We have a film maker, Stephanie Soechtig, here with us, she has a documentary out called 'Tapped,' which looks the impact that all those bottles have had on the environment. And for the past month, she has been collecting bottles in this truck so that everybody can see [Pointing to truck with transparent containers of plastic water bottles]. Good morning, Stephanie.

STEPAHNIE SOECHTIG: Good morning.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Early's Earth Day; Filmmaker Says 'Get Off the Bottle!']

RODRIGUEZ: You've been traveling the country collecting these bottles. Why and what has your message been?

SOECHTIG: Well, we've been trying to educate people that bottled water's one of the greatest marketing scams of all time. 40% of bottled water is really just filtered tap water. And every day we throw away 30 million single serve bottles of water. [Pointing to the truck] So this represents about four seconds worth of what we throw away every single day.

BETTY NGUYEN: 4 seconds?

HARRY SMITH: 4 seconds?

SOECHTIG: 4 seconds every day, into landfills and the ocean.

RODRIGUEZ: And what impact has this had on the environment?

SOECHTIG: Well, it's had a tremendous impact. I mean, there's a soup of plastic in the north Pacific that's twice the size of Texas, that's just littered with plastic. So this type of plastic getting out in the environment is hurting our sea life, it's hurting us, it's ending up back in our food chain. Every step along the way seems to be bad. It's also oil – plastic is a byproduct of oil. So from the production of the plastic all the way through the disposal, it just has a tremendous carbon footprint.

RODRIGUEZ: So if you encounter Stephanie along her travels, she will likely give you one of these. It's a 'Clean Canteen' [holds up plastic reusable container]. And you're advocating putting tap water in these instead of drinking bottled water. I only drink tap water.

NGUYEN: I do, too.

RODRIGUEZ: By the way, it saves me a ton of money, to boot, not only saving the environment.

NGUYEN: Exactly. And this would save you money, too, because you don't have to go to the stores and keep buying that bottled water. You just have to think a little and pack it.

SOECHTIG: Right.

RODRIGUEZ: Exactly. Which is easy. Stephanie, thank you.

SOECHTIG: Thanks so much.

RODRIGUEZ: Thank you for helping us commemorate Earth Day. Important message. Your 'Clean Canteen,' sir.

HARRY SMITH: Thank you very much. I want one of those.
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC