The Dirty Truth About Bottled Water
This is a guest post by Krish Jagirdar at myenergy.com/blog
Fresh, pure, premium, and safe are some of the words that come to mind when we think about bottled water. But the question remains: is bottled water really better than tap water? At first glance, it’s easy to assume so. But when we take a closer look, it turns out bottled water isn’t really all that it’s tapped out to be…
Americans spent about $15 billion dollars on bottled water last year, and bottled water sells for at least 300 times the cost of tap water. Bling H2O sells individual bottles for $40. They justify the price with their “9 step purification process” and an aesthetic crystal-infused lining of the bottle. Bling H2O represents the zenith of ultra premium market of bottled water. How did we get here?
Bottled Water Marketing
Pictures of pristine, rolling rivers pasted over serene mountain landscapes, giant billboards of celebrity endorsements, and all the suggestive bottle names that come with them have led the public to perceive bottled water as pure and superior to tap water. But what if I were to tell you that bottled water is nowhere near as pure as these advertisements suggest?
Bottled Water Facts
According to the director of the Natural Resource Defense Council, Eric Goldstein, “no one should think that bottled water is better protected or safer than tap water.” One study found that 1/3 of the sample brands contained bacterial and chemical contaminants – including carcinogens, yuck!
In fact, the FDA reports that 75% of bottled water comes from company selected water sources; however, the remaining 25% comes from community or municipal source water. As it turns out, the Environmental Protection Agency firmly regulates tap water. They constantly check tap water for biological, chemical, and radioactive contaminants while bottled water has no such government quality control. It’s easy to see that tap water in the States is actually pretty safe for you – hell, the water companies are even using it!
The hyper-frequent transportation of bottled water from long distances has a direct increase on greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution, and consumption of fossil fuels, and all of those plastic bottles increase the amount of solid waste and often plastic pollution.
Cities around the country are already getting into the practice of trading in plastic bottles for tap water. San Francisco city employees are banned from buying bottled water when tap water is available; Ann Arbor banned commercially bottled water at city events, and Salt Lake City is looking to eliminate bottled water from their city limits entirely.
Take Back the Tap
If you haven’t already, shy away from those misleading plastic bottles, and pick up some reusable water bottles for your family instead. It’s less expensive and better for the environment! A recent Times study found that it costs about $1400 a year to get your recommended daily dose of H2O from bottles as opposed to tap water! If you are still one for the crisp taste that truly premium water does offer, you can invest in a filter for your faucet or fridge – it’ll quench your thirst and pay for itself in no time!