You would think that bottled water comes from idyllic locations where the water is clean and pure, right? You'd be wrong. In fact, Everest Water comes from Corpus Christi, Texas, rather than from Mount Everest. Glacier Clear Water isn't from Alaska. Instead, it's from Greeneville, Tennessee. One of Aquafina's sources is the Detroit River.
Bottled water is the safest water out there, right? It's been filtered and tested before being sold to you. Well, not necessarily. In 2008, the Environmental Working Group tested bottled water and found 38 pollutants in 10 different brands. Some of these pollutants included industrial chemicals, bacterial and radioactivity. Yikes.
You would assume that if a company is selling you a product to consume, they're going to keep tabs on its purity with frequent testing. But when it comes to bottled water, that's surprisingly untrue. The bottled water industry rarely actually discloses the results of contaminant testing, so we don't know what's exactly in the water that we're buying. Water utilities, on the other hand, are required to regularly test their water and provide the results to the public once each year.
Bottled water costs 2,000 times what the same amount of tap water would cost. And we pay more for bottled water than we pay for gas, oil, or coal. Seriously. Is this really where we want our money to be going?
The process of manufacturing bottled water is a major energy drain. In fact, manufacturing, producing, and transporting bottled water is 1,100 to 2,000 times more energy intensive than the treatment and distillation of tap water. Producing bottled water uses enough oil to fuel between 1.2 and 2.1 million cars a year. Put that way, does bottled water sound like a wise option?
If you're worried about drinking water with fluoride in it, you'll likely purchase a bottle of purified water. But purified water isn't as purified as you may assume. Some purified water still contains fluoride. In some cases this is because the filters don't remove fluoride, or because the company adds fluoride back in after filtering the water.
Bottled water contains chemicals. Thousands of them, actually. During one study, tests on 18 different brands of bottled water revealed the presence of 24,520 different chemicals. These chemicals included endocrine disruptors which inhibit the body's function.
Think that when you drink a bottle of water, you're only consuming the water in the bottle? That's wrong. Because of the manufacturing processes used, it actually takes 1.39 liters of water to make one liter of bottled water. We're wasting a precious resource.
We may drink bottled water because it seems to be a healthier option, but in doing so we're poisoning our environment. The water bottle industry uses 1.5 million tons of plastic each year in order to package bottled water. The process of manufacturing and disposing of plastic releases toxic chemicals into the environment. Bad news.
Buying bottled water is a pricey way to quench your thirst. Bottled water costs between $0.89 per gallon to $8.26 per gallon. The water from your tap costs fractions of a penny. Bottled water is thousands of times more expensive than the water available from your tap. Think about what that equates to over the course of a year or a decade.
Many people opt to drink bottled water because they're concerned about the purity of tap water. The problem is, more than half of all bottled water actually comes from the tap. You may think that you're buying spring water, but you may be surprised to learn where that bottled water actually comes from.
Bottled water often lacks a very important ingredient: fluoride. Fluoride is added to most public water to help reduce the risk of cavities. But bottled water manufacturers often opt out of adding fluoride. With so many people consuming more and more bottled water, dental experts are worried that this trend could lead to worsening dental hygiene.
14. Transporting Bottled Water Releases Carbon Dioxide
Don't forget that water also has to get to you. Billions of gallons of bottled water are consumed in countries other than where they originated. That means major transportation which releases carbon dioxide into the air. Carbon dioxide is a major threat to the ozone layer, meaning that bottled water may actually threaten the future of our planet.
Think you can taste the difference between tap and bottled water? You might not be correct. During an experiment, only a third of 67 test subjects were able to tell the difference between tap and bottled water simply by taste. Another third of the subjects guessed incorrectly, while the remaining subjects couldn't tell the difference at all.
Bisphenol A (BPA), a common ingredient in the plastic used to make water bottles, carries its own risks. Research suggests that plastics can leach chemicals when heated, and BPA may cause cancer in people. BPA, a weak synthetic estrogen, is a hormone disruptor, which can throw off your body's hormonal balance. It's recommended that you limit your exposure to BPA.
With so many people drinking bottled water, the waste created is a big issue. Water bottles are a major source of pollution. If you do drink bottled water, make sure that you always recycle the empty bottles.
The newest trend of bottling desalinated seawater also has problems. Promoted by Kona Deep, the process of desalinating (or separating the salt from seawater) requires nine times the energy as surface water treatment. It also requires 14 times more energy than groundwater treatments. It's not good news for our environment at all.