Clear Water, Cloudy Truths? Fiji Water Faces Microplastic Allegations

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Class Action Lawsuit Says Fiji Water Is Falsely Advertised Because It Allegedly Contains Microplastics That Aren’t Declared On The Label

There might be something other than H20 in your bottle of Fiji Water, according to a class action lawsuit that is now headed to federal court. 

In a proposed class action lawsuit filed against Fiji Water manufacturer The Wonderful Company, Chicago resident John Daly says the bottled water also contains harmful microplastics that leak out of the plastic bottle.

Daly claims he and other consumers were misled by the company marketing the product as "natural artesian water.” Now, he’s suing on behalf of any person nationwide who bought Fiji Water within the past five years, with a lawsuit that landed in an Illinois federal court on Feb. 14.

Tiny fragments, huge impact: A closer look at microplastics

Microplastics are tiny plastic particles that come from the breakdown of larger plastics – like bottles – and from commercial products – like microbeads found in some face washes. As a pollutant, microplastics can be harmful to the environment, but scientists are still unsure whether consumed microplastics are harmful to human health—and if so, what dangers they pose. 

Daly’s lawsuit alleges Fiji Water contains microplastics that leach into the water due to the degradation and breakdown of the plastic water bottle

He points to two studies in his complaint. One from 2018 tested 259 bottles across 11 brands that were purchased in nine different countries. That study found 93% of bottled water showed signs of microplastic contamination. Another 2019 study found that the origin of microplastics in bottled drinking water was due to stress on the bottleneck and cap through frequent opening and closing, Daly says. 

“After being absorbed, microplastics have the potential to be transported through the circulatory system and subsequently accumulate in various organs, including the kidney, gut, and liver,” he says.

The microplastic allegations against Fiji Water

Daly says The Wonderful Company either knew, or should have known, that Fiji Water could contain microplastics. 

He says the company broke fraud laws and consumer protection laws through its misleading marketing of the water as “natural” and “artesian.”

Daly says a reasonable consumer would not expect "natural" water products to contain microplastics. “Yet, when consumers drink Defendant's products, they are consuming synthetic plastic particles,” he alleges. 

As a result, consumers paid too much for Fiji Water, he says. He’s seeking a judgment from the court and an order that Fiji Water change its marketing.

Another ripple in Fiji Water’s legal troubles

In 2011, The Wonderful Company faced another false advertising lawsuit alleging it deceptively marketed Fiji Water as “carbon-negative.” 

In it, the plaintiff accused Fiji Water of marketing itself as a carbon-negative product, when the carbon reductions it was referring to were actually predicted for the future – not in the present day. In this case, the plaintiff said she paid more for Fiji Water specifically because it advertised itself as a carbon-negative product. 

The plaintiffs are represented by David B. Levin, Todd M. Friedman and Steven G. Perry of the Law Offices of Todd M. Friedman PC.

The Fiji Water microplastics class action lawsuit is Daly v. The Wonderful Company, Case No. 1:24-cv-01267, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

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