Bottled Water: The Real Story

by

The Real Story

Too many bottles, The new faux pas

I recently received a flyer in the mail from Food and Water Watch, with the title: “America’s water should belong to each of us, not the companies that bottle and sell it. Not the corporations that want to privatize is. Take the pledge to protect your right to clean safe drinking water. Here’s what I’ve learned.

American consumers drink more bottled water every year, in part because they think it is somehow safer or better than tap water. They collectively spend hundreds or thousands of dollars more per gallon for water in a plastic bottle than they would for the H20 flowing from their taps.

Rather than buying into this myth of purity in a bottle, consumers should drink from the tap. Bottled water generally is no cleaner, or safer, or healthier than tap water. In fact, the federal government requires far more rigorous and frequent safety testing and monitoring of municipal drinking water. Read more

Bottled Water: Illusions of Purity : Not safer than tap water
Bottled water manufacturers are good at implying things. With glossy ads and labels depicting quiet mountain streams, a consumer is led to believe what they’re drinking is healthier than what comes from the tap. But chances are it’s not. In fact, municipal water is more tightly regulated than bottled water.

Tap water is regulated by the EPA as well as state and local governments, but bottled water is only checked by the Food and Drug Administration. FDA doesn’t even get to most food plants every year, with some plants going five or ten years between inspections. Though the FDA is supposed to test bottled water at the same standards as the EPA, FDA guidelines are years behind the EPA’s. Here are some of the more disturbing examples: Read more

Bottled Water creates Mountains of Garbage and other Environmental Problems
Bottled water wastes fossil fuels and water in production and transport, and when the water is drunk the bottles become a major source of waste. It takes more than 47 million gallons of oil to produce plastic water bottles for Americans every year. Eliminating those bottles would be like taking 100,000 cars off the road and 1 billion pounds of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. Read more

Bottled water companies mislead communities into giving away their public water in exchange for dangerous jobs.

The $60 billion global bottled water industry has grown rapidly in recent years. To keep up with the expanding market, corporations are looking for new water sources. Once they identify good or easy targets, they come into communities, bottle their water, slap a corporate logo on it and sell it to stores across the country. The profits are great and the resource is cheap. The corporations benefit. The communities don’t.  Why would any town go along with such a bad proposal? Read more

What you Can Do

  • Reduce your bottled water consumption.
  • Carry your own bottle. Lined aluminum, glass, or stainless steel are alternatives to plastic bottles. See the Green Guide for a discussion of safe plastics.
  • Take the pledge to break the bottled water habit
  • Spread the word!
  • Support funding for public drinking water and water treatment.
  • Contact your representatives
  • Sign the online pledge

America has some of the safest tap water in the world but many cities operate water systems that were built before World War I. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that there is a shortfall of more than $22 billion per year between the funds available for repair and upgrade of pipes and treatment plants and what is needed to keep water safe for human and environmental health.

Editor’s Note: See our articles on alternatives to bottled water when traveling in Peru and the like.

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One Response to “Bottled Water: The Real Story”

  1. Bottled Water: The Real Story « Mountain Spirit Institute: Blog | H2O Report Says:

    […] original here:  Bottled Water: The Real Story « Mountain Spirit Institute: Blog conservation, flights, food, green, mountain, mountain-spirit, mountains, online, […]

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