Bottled water is a marketing phenomenon. In a society where much of the tap water supply is safe and completely regulated by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), we struggle to rid ourselves of the belief that bottled water is healthier and filled with less chemicals. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The bottled water industry, regularly enjoying profits of $10 billion a year, is self-regulated and in many cases has been found to be brilliantly deceiving consumers. Last month, the Environmental Working Group conducted a study on 10 brands of bottled water and found that 5 out of the 10 brands contained contaminated bacteria and one brand in particular – Sam’s Choice from corporate giant Wal-Mart – contained a level of toxicity that exceeded California state law.
In fact, as much as 40% of bottled water begins as tap water, not in untouched springs, as the water companies would have you believe. So aside from the simple fact that tap water may actually be better for you than bottled water (and can I just point out – SO MUCH CHEAPER), what happens to $10 billion worth of plastic bottles once we have quenched our uninformed thirsts?
The World Wildlife Fund estimates that about 1.5 million tons of plastic are used globally in making water bottles every year, leaving a significant manufacturing footprint. Most water bottles are made of the oil-derived polyethylene terephthalate known as PET – less toxic than most plastics but has been found to generate more than 100 times the toxic emissions in the form of nickel, ethylbenzene, ethylene oxide and benzene compared to glass manufacturing.
Sure Poland Spring began manufacturing a new eco-friendly bottle design, which they claim saves 30% of plastic and is 100% recyclable. Ok, but bottled water has the convenience factor and when people are on-the-go, the ability to recycle diminishes greatly. And what about the other 70% of plastic still cluttering up the Earth?
Bottled water is not green nor is it safer than tap water. The myth perpetrated by the bottled water company machine continues to influence consumers in grocery stories, gyms, restaurants and sporting events across the country. If we’re going to have a greener society, we need to ditch the bottle and turn on the faucet.
Posted by: Ashley / ashleyatcaster on Twitter