The Truth About Bottled Water

plastic bottle pollution

1.5 million barrels of oil in the US alone are used to make water bottles from polyethylene terephthalate, 86% of which are landfilled or incinerated. Often it is shipped long distances, like the 1.4 million bottles of Finnish tap water sent 4,300 kilometers (2,700 miles) to Saudi Arabia, or the popular Fiji water found in the US and Canada. ”Even in areas where tap water is safe to drink, demand for bottled water is increasing–producing unnecessary garbage and consuming vast quantities of energy,” said researcher Emily Arnold. ”Although in the industrial world bottled water is often no healthier than tap water, it can cost up to 10,000 times more.” Tap water comes to us through an energy-efficient infrastructure whereas bottled water must be transported long distances–and nearly one-fourth of it across national borders–by boat, train, airplane, and truck. This ”involves burning massive quantities of fossil fuels,” Arnold said. Its time to buy a Nalgene and refill it rather than tossing empties.

To fill in a little information I’ll ramble off topic a bit! First let’s be clear about this, in most modern communities tap water is often more purea than bottled water. Indeed, in the USA tap water is regulated by the EPA, whereas the FDA look over the shoulder of bottled water suppliers, using less stringent criteria. As eMagazine points out 40 percent of bottled water began life as, well, tap water.” In the same comprehensive article, eMag note that the NRDC had 1,000 bottles of water tested, and discovered that a “third of the tested brands were found to contain contaminants such as arsenic and carcinogenic compounds in at least some samples at levels exceeding state or industry standards. And in one study at Syracuse University, “… they found that one-fourth of bottled water had 10 times the bacterial count of tap water.And who is selling us this bottled water in the first place? The same folk who enthuse about the joys of Aspartame maybe?