Should You Stop Consuming Bottled Water?

The growing consumption of bottled water has many people taking a closer look
at the industry. The association between bottled water and good health is now
being questioned, as well as the excessive garbage and costs that store-bought
water accumulates. Below are 20 reasons you should stop consuming bottled

1. High Cost – You are not getting a good deal when you buy
bottled water. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), bottled
water can cost up to 10,000 times more per gallon than tap water. Some vending
machines actually offer 12-ounce bottles of water next to cans of soft drinks,
charging the same for each item. This is simply a waste of your money, as water
if often available for free from many places.

2. Not Healthier Than Tap Water – Contrary to what marketers
would have you believe, bottled water is not the healthy, pure alternative to tap
water. Do not buy into this propaganda of fearing tap water, as it was placed in
the public’s subconscious in order to sell more bottled water.

3. Tap Water in Disguise – Sometimes, the “bottled water
versus tap water” debate is completely unnecessary. After all, many companies
are simply placing tap water in the bottles! Of course, they don’t do that without
greatly inflating the price of public water first.

4. Excess Packaging – In 2004, the global consumption
of bottled water reached 154 billion liters. As you can imagine, this resulted
in a huge accumulation of garbage. Unnecessary garbage at that, considering
tap water is perfectly healthy in developed countries. Sadly, about 90 percent
of all water bottles will not be recycled in the United States.

5. Not Biodegradable – Since most water bottles will not
be recycled, one has to wonder what happens to the bottles being disposed
of in the trash. Well, not much happens to them, as they are not biodegradable.
Bottled water is the largest growth area among all drinks and mountains of plastic
bottles are now piling up in landfills, where it takes thousands of years to decompose.

6. Hurts the Public Water System – As more people choose
bottled water over tap water, there is less attention placed on municipal water
systems. This is a bad thing, as we want cities to remain very diligent in providing
the cleanest water possible. When people start looking the other way, public water
systems may begin to falter.

Water is Going Corporate – As people continue to increase their
consumption of bottled water, corporations are having trouble keeping up with
demand. For that reason, they are starting to privatize municipal water sources,
making the once-public resource a precious commodity. Local economies are greatly
affected when public water systems become private.

8. No Fluoride – Unlike public water systems, most brands of
bottled water are not fluoridated. Without fluoride, you run a higher risk of developing
cavities. Also, fluoride is essential for children, as it helps them to develop strong bones.

9. Fecal Matter – Tests performed on bottled water have
turned up something much less “pure” than the bubbling brooks and mountain
streams pictured on many brands’ bottles. In fact, the New York State Department
of Health found coliform bacteria in some samples. In case you are wondering,
such bacteria are organisms found in the feces of warm-blooded animals and
humans. Not so appealing, is it?

10. Smoker’s Lips – Here is one unexpected side effect of regular
bottled water consumption: “smoker’s lips.” This is a term for when lips develop fine
lines and wrinkles from constantly wrapping around an object. Ironically, hydrating
yourself while working out could have the same effect on your mouth as smoking
several packs of cigarettes a day.

Tap Water Tastes as Good – Have you convinced yourself that
bottled water tastes better than normal tap water? This may be a placebo effect
brought on by clever marketing campaigns. Blind taste tests have proven many
times that bottled water tastes no better than water from the tap.

Public Water Has Higher Standards – Where safety is concerned,
public water systems are held to much higher safety standards than bottled water.
In fact, the standards vary widely from state to state where bottled water is
concerned. However, public water must meet uniformed, national regulations.

13.Bottles Breed More Bacteria – Even if the water being placed
in bottles meets high standards where bacteria is concerned, the bottles themselves
can quickly change that. Storing bottled water at room temperature, for example,
can help to breed more bacteria, just as reusing the same bottle can.

14. Unsustainable Growth – At the rate the bottled water
industry is growing, the current demand will be completely unsustainable. A
slumping economy, combined with the limited amount of water, will greatly impact
the world’s increasing demand for bottled water (just like everything else). One
must consider whether or not it is even ethical to keep consuming bottle after
bottle of any commercial drink.

15. Water Shortages – As bottled water companies try to keep
up with the demand for more product, they continue to extract water from any
viable source. This has resulted in water shortages in some areas near bottling
plants. As a result, whole communities and agriculture are adversely affected.

16. Wasted Fossil Fuels – Choosing bottled water over tap
water contributes to wasted energy. Approximately 1.5 million gallons of oil are
used each year to make plastic water bottles. That is enough to run 100,000
cars for a whole year! Mind you, that is just the bottle manufacturing and does
not include the energy used while shipping product and extracting water.

17. Pollutants and Pesticides – The rise in popularity of bottled
water could be attributed to the fear of water contamination. It is true that bottled
water is the safer choice in some developing countries. However, many U.S.
water sources used by bottling companies are susceptible to contamination by
pollutants and pesticides. In one infamous case, it was found that a company
was extracting water from a well near a hazardous waste site!

18. High Sodium – Some brands of bottled water actually contain high
amounts of sodium. This is a problem, as many Americans consume more than their recommended daily sodium intake. Those who are trying to stay away from salt
may not realize that they are ingesting sodium with each drink of bottled water.

.Chemicals in Plastic Bottles – Lately, there has been a huge concern
about harmful chemicals in baby bottles. However, it appears that water bottles
also pose a threat to consumers. Plastic bottles made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or polyethylene (PET, HDPE, PE) are widely used for all types of water in many countries.

20. No Date on Bottles – Bottlers are not required to place
dates on bottled water. While some store-bought beverages feature a “born on
date,” there is no way of knowing how long a bottle of water has been sitting on
shelves. Old bottled water, particularly if it has been kept at or below room
temperature, is very susceptible to bacterial growth and the leeching of harmful
chemicals from plastic.