Jump to content
Your browser is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this websites. Learn how to update your browser[Close]

Expo 2015


Nestlé water turned into cups at Milan Expo


One of the four towers at Switzerland’s pavilion at the Expo 2015 in Milan was originally meant to be filled with bottles of water from sponsor Nestlé. Now, however, visitors will be offered cups which they can fill with local tap water. 

The decision by Presence Switzerland, the government body responsible for Switzerland’s image abroad, follows criticism of the heavy involvement of the Swiss food and drink multinational, which has contributed CHF3 million ($3.1 million) to the pavilion’s CHF23.1 million budget. Sponsorship totals CHF8 million. 

Nestlé has been criticised for commercialising water resources, according to a cabinet statement in September in response to a parliamentary question. It added that this was hard to reconcile with Switzerland’s image for sustainability, which is what it wanted to convey at the exposition. 

“We raised the water question, we thought about it and listened,” Nicolas Bideau, head of Presence Switzerland, told the media on Tuesday. “In the end, Presence Switzerland decided to offer water from taps instead of from bottles.” 

Responsibility 

Milan 2015 runs from May 1 to October 31 and has chosen as its central theme “Feeding the planet, energy for life”. It will host more than 130 participants and expects 20 million visitors. 

The four towers in the Swiss pavilion will be filled with little sacks of salt, apple rings, Nespresso capsules (also made by Nestlé) and, now, plastic cups. Visitors can help themselves to as much as they want, but the supplies won’t be replenished as quickly as they disappear. 

If the towers are emptied after only a few weeks, they will remain empty for a while. Bideau explained that this was meant to encourage visitors to take responsibility for available resources. 

“A void also sends a message,” he said. “Namely that other people have already taken everything.”

swissinfo.ch and agencies



Links

Copyright

All rights reserved. The content of the website by swissinfo.ch is copyrighted. It is intended for private use only. Any other use of the website content beyond the use stipulated above, particularly the distribution, modification, transmission, storage and copying requires prior written consent of swissinfo.ch. Should you be interested in any such use of the website content, please contact us via contact@swissinfo.ch.

As regards the use for private purposes, it is only permitted to use a hyperlink to specific content, and to place it on your own website or a website of third parties. The swissinfo.ch website content may only be embedded in an ad-free environment without any modifications. Specifically applying to all software, folders, data and their content provided for download by the swissinfo.ch website, a basic, non-exclusive and non-transferable license is granted that is restricted to the one-time downloading and saving of said data on private devices. All other rights remain the property of swissinfo.ch. In particular, any sale or commercial use of these data is prohibited.

×