Face off: should HK$950 bottled glacier water be allowed in Hong Kong?

Compiled by Sebastien Raybaud

Each week, two of our readers debate a hot topic in a parliamentary-style debate that doesn’t necessarily reflect their personal viewpoint. This week...

Compiled by Sebastien Raybaud |

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Amanjot Kaur, 17, Delia Memorial School (Broadway)

The answer is simply, No! No matter what the company might say about the product “reducing the devastating impact of global warming” and combating climate change, I think it is pure exploitation of the Earth’s natural resources.

Ironically, the fact that the Arctic glacier water is bottled means it is already not eco-friendly if you consider the high carbon footprint involved in producing the bottled water and shipping it around the world.

I sort of agree that sourcing water from icebergs that have broken off from glaciers can help to reduce rising sea levels. But to sell the water at HK$950 per bottle is unacceptable.

It would be too expensive for most people in Hong Kong. The price tag makes it a “premium commodity” which only the rich can afford, which adds to the social inequality in our society.

Hong Kong must work towards sustainable development, and we need to do our part by living in a way that causes little or no damage to the environment. We have to be responsible consumers.

Christopher Tan, 21, Pitzer College, United States

Although paying HK$950 for a bottle of iceberg water may seem excessive, there is good reason for those bottles to cost so much. It shouldn’t come as a big surprise that a luxury market exists in the bottled water industry. Just like how we have the finest and most luxurious scarves made of cashmere and the best and most expensive wines imported from France and Italy, it isn’t a crazy idea to have some of the purest water from the Norwegian Arctic available on the market.

People will complain about the insanely unaffordable price, but one must remember that the product was never really intended for the masses but rather targeted at high-class people.

What’s more, with rising sea levels, high levels of pollution, and a growing global population, fresh drinking water is increasingly becoming a rare commodity. And the fact that some people have already bought the Svalbardian product is an indiction that the public is ready to accept the water made from polar glaciers.

I believe that if the product becomes popular in Hong Kong, it would be a reflection of the city’s booming economy and international outlook. It would show that there are a lot of people in Hong Kong who can afford such luxurious products.

All in all, the presence of this pricey water on the market will be a good sign for Hong Kong. Though I would never buy such as expensive product when I can get one for free or at a much more affordable price, in the spirit of free enterprise, I personally see nothing wrong about having it on our supermarket shelves.

If there is a market for it, why not sell it?

Edited by Nicole Moraleda