Everyone, well, most people complain about the price of gasoline/petrol, and yet i’ve never heard anyone complain about the price of bottled water. Those who buy it seem to do so without thought, and if there’s a purchase we need to think long and hard about before we make it, bottled water is certainly one, and not only because a litre of bottled water costs more than a litre of gasoline/petrol, which is ridiculous in and of itself.
Millions and millions of dollars are spent each week on advertising campaigns to give consumers the perception that bottled water comes from some pristine mountain spring or magical underground aquifer, assuring purity and quality. However, the fact is that bottled water is oftentimes little more than just tap water in a bottle, sometimes worse! In most countries, the U.S. included, the law requires bottled water to be only as good as tap water. Around 90% of the cost of bottled water is in the bottle, lid, label and distribution. Another 1.8% is profit. The rest is the cost of the water, which in many cases is just tap water to begin with.
The bottled water industry is full of deception and questionable ethics. Industry lobbyists successfully fight every year to keep bottled water companies from having to abide by even the minimal health standards set for tap water. They argue that bottled water needn’t be hampered by safely regulations at all! And yet, bottled water companies have spent billions to manipulate consumers into believing that bottled water is safer or healthier than tap water.
In the U.S. San Francisco, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Chicago, St. Louis and many other cities have recently jumped on the “ban bottled water” bandwagon, making it illegal to spend city dollars on bottled water.
Then there is the environmental impact. “It causes 60 million plastic bottles A DAY to be manufactured, transported and then disposed of in U.S. landfills. It’s killing our planet, and for no good reason…”
-Eric Olsen, Natural Resources Defense Council
If the environmental impact doesn’t bother you, then consider the possible impact on your health. The facts are clear: All plastic bottles leach synthetic chemicals into water, some more than others. Even the popular refillable polycarbonate water bottles are known to release BPA (Bisphenol A) into the water. The best and healthiest solution is a quality home water filter and refillable glass water bottles.
However, there are concerns about glass-bottled water as well. Hundreds of recent reports reveal that bottled water quality is grossly overrated. “While much tap water is indeed risky, having compared available data we conclude that there is no assurance that bottled water is any safer than tap water.”
-Natural Resources Defense Council, Washington DC.
Virtually every independent study on bottled water shows contamination from bacteria and/or synthetic chemicals. In some places tap water is a concern as well, and as water becomes a more and more precious commodity, indeed some investors now refer to it as blue gold, health concerns about water will intensify, but bottled water is not the answer.
Perhaps the best we can do is use home water purifiers. Home water filtration is the most logical, most economical, most convenient and healthiest alternative to tap or bottled water. With home water filtration you can pick the degree of purity you want and have complete control over it. Considering the extreme importance of healthy, chemical free water, a quality home water filter may be the most valuable home appliance you can own.
So here’s to healthy water consumption, and being smart about how we consume it.