At least in Australia, it’s a misconception that bottled water is a pure and healthier alternative to tap water. If you buy your water in a plastic bottle, chemicals (such as BPA) used in the manufacturing process may leech into the water.
We have been warned not to refill these bottles more than once – why? Apart from simple (yet highly dangerous) bacteria buildup inside the bottle, evidence is mounting that ongoing exposure to some of the common chemicals used in the manufacture of plastic water bottles and food containers is highly unsafe.
The Following is an excerpt from a study published by The Environmental Working Group.
Unlike tap water, where consumers are provided with test results every year, the bottled water industry is not required to disclose the results of any contaminant testing that it conducts. Instead, the industry hides behind the claim that bottled water is held to the same safety standards as tap water. But with promotional campaigns saturated with images of mountain springs, and prices 1,900 times the price of tap water, consumers are clearly led to believe that they are buying a product that has been purified to a level beyond the water that comes out of the garden hose.
There is also the problem of what to do with these bottles when we have drunk the water in them. Not everyone disposes of these thoughtfully and they wind up being flushed down our storm water drains and inevitably end up bobbing about in our oceans and waterways or in landfill – there to remain for up to a decade or more.
The idea of paying for water in a bottle used to be a bit quaint – remember when brands such as Evian used to be associated exclusively with expensive restaurants and mini-bars? In less than 20 years, bottled water has become so ubiquitous that we have been taught to accept that we should pay up to “1,900 times the price of tap water” simply because we believe the marketing hype.
Not liking the taste of tap water is one matter (which can very economically be overcome with a good quality home water filter), but adding an extra 2.7 million tonnes of plastic each year – of which up to 65% goes straight to landfill, is clearly unsustainable.
Unfortunately, if trends are anything to go by, bottled water will remain a common consumer item for a long time. Using a high quality (BPA free) plastic or stainless steel water bottle, however, is a great way to reduce your usage (if not eliminate it), and can very quickly pay for itself. We’re now even seeing steel water bottle filters capable of producing a quality of filtered water equal to that of full-size home units.