Bottled water is becoming obsolete

Bottled water is getting banned.  San Francisco’s mayor, Gavin Newsom has stopped the city government from using money to supply municipal workers with bottled water.  New York City launched a champagne ad to encourage residents and tourists to stop using bottled water and drink the tap water.  New York has been considered one of the best water in the country.  Boston and San Francisco have also taken bottled water off many of their menus and replaced it with filtered tap water instead.

The reason for all of this change is the fact that 11 billion dollars is spent each year on bottled water, resulting in 22 million empty plastic water bottles in the trash.  Bottled water doesn’t only take up a huge amount of space in the local landfill but it also costs a thousand times more than faucet water.  It also is no safer or cleaner than tap water and in some cases may even be more harmful!

Tap water goes through extensive testing more often than bottled water which is usually only tested annually.  Besides the water itself it is the pretty packaging that may be the most harmful to your health.  Many people want a bang for their buck and might refill their plastic bottle with the filtered water from their home or office.  This could be problematic.

The plastic is safe if used once, using it multiple times can leach chemicals such as DEHA, a potential hormone disrupter.  The plastic is also porous and you most likely will get harmful bacteria with each sip if you reuse #1 plastic bottle.

There are so many alternatives that are available now instead of the more common plastic bottle.  I myself carry one designed by Nathan, many sporting goods stores carry an array of different colors and sizes, catering to male and female as well as children and adults.  It is a wise decision to make for yourself as well as the environment.  It will save you money and room in your trash can!

Posted By: Kate Kiselka, follow me on Twitter

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12 Responses

  1. It’s interesting how all these filtered water companies and reusable bottled companies have these bloggers such as your self trying to debunk bottled water.
    Bottled water on average gets tested over 100 times a week, it is tap water that is not tested as regularly as bottled water. the proof is in the clarity, in the taste and in the tests.

    You do get what you pay for, if you want toxicated tap water, yes it is cheaper in the short term until you get sick and start going to hospitals and get on some drugs.

    Or you can pay a little more for a cleaner, healthier water and live healthier.

    Cheers to bottled water.

  2. Gallon for gallon, bottled water is test at least 30 times more than tap water. Bottled water has the smallest carbon footprint than any other packaged beverage and bottled water companies have done a great job in light-weighting their bottles — down to a mere 10 grams. That’s less than 8 ounces of plastic in an entire case. Good newes! Bottled water containers are the single msot recycling item in curbside recycling programs — 30.9%. That’s still too low but no product container has recycle rates that high.

    • Comparing the footprint of bottled water to other packaged beverages is like comparing which is less toxic, mercury or arsenic. Americans throw away 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour. Bottled water has turned from a luxury lifestyle good to a luxury lifestyle problem.

  3. It would be nice to see some facts on one of these blogs once in a while. Kate, you obviously only repeat what you hear from other misinformed sources. For one thing, the chemical alleged to be an EDC is DEHP (Di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate), not DEHA (Diethylhexy adipate). By the way, PET plastic contains neither chemical, so where’s the data to show that it does contain them? I used to work on the municipal water side of the fence, and I’m amazed at how easy it is for so many of you to not understand the EPA regulations for monitoring. Do you not know how municipal systems get waivers for some monitoring, and are permitted to reduce testing to once every 3 years or less for many other tests? Check it out at EPA’s web site: http://www.epa.gov/safewater/regs.html. Click on “Standardized Monitoring Framework” to see the facts. By the way, what are the MCLs for lead and copper in public drinking water? Give up? There are none. For bottled water? 5 ppb for lead and 1.0 ppm for copper, and we test for both at least annually, every 1 to 3 years or less as in public drinking water. Please do your research before advancing untruths about bottled water.

    • Hi Bob,
      Thanks for your input. We are aware that municipal water testing is not perfect. In our area, drinking water is perfectly safe from the tap and we encourage those with similar situations to do so and stop contributing to the massive amounts of plastic that are thrown away each day. BTW – the EPA itself states that bottled water is not necessarily safer than tap: http://www.epa.gov/ogwdw000/faq/faq.html

      The EPA regulates ground water, the FDA regulates bottled water based on the EPA’s ground water standards.

      You are also ignoring the massive carbon footprint of producing the plastic to make bottles and the 2.5 million bottles per hour that are thrown away in the United States. The issue is more than simply copper and lead levels in bottled versus tap.

      • Since every single product in the American grocery store has a carbon footprint, and nearly all of that is thrown-away, where do you get-off singling-out bottled water, which is the healthiest beverage you can drink? The industry works harder than most on recycling issues. Is any other industry light-weighting their containers like bottled water is? Humans seeking better hydration (in the age of high obesity, heart disease and diabetes) do not need to be discouraged aby drinking water. Your column today is NOT in the public interest. There’s something perverse about attacking the healthiest beverage while thousands of other beverages also have bottles, also end-up in landfills and have far greater carbon footprints.

      • tlauria –

        We aren’t singling it out as though nothing else matters. Clearly, recycling and waste in general are an issue in this country and we have talked about those subjects on this blog. As I see you work for bottledwater.org, it’s clear that your agenda is to promote bottled water. I personally believe the promotion of a product that contributes so much waste to our society is not, in fact, contributing to a healthy lifestyle for anyone. We are not suggesting people stop drinking water and staying hydrated, you are polarizing the issue.

        Yes, other beverage containers end up in the landfill, I am not defending them. But two wrongs don’t make a right – bottles of empty water sit right next to those other cans. This post happened to be about bottled water, we’ve written about other products that are harmful to the environment.

        We can agree to disagree here. You promote bottled water, we don’t.

        Thanks for reading.

      • My agenda to protect bottled water customers and producers from its unthoughtful critics. Recycling erases your concerns. So let’s all recycle more so that someday bottled water containers can be made of 100% recycled material.

  4. Correction to typo above: “For bottled water? 5 ppb for lead and 1.0 ppm for copper, and we test for both at least annually, NOT every 1 to 3 years or less as in public drinking water.”

  5. here at the International Bottled Water Association, I am struck at we work on many fronts at once to make our healthy products more Earth-friendly. We are light-weighting our bottles and caps; we are out-front in supporting expanded recycling nationwide; our products havethe smallest carbon footprint of any and all packaged beverages. Bottled Water is well on its way to being the epitome of environmental sustainability in a bottle.

    • Bottled Water is well on its way to being the epitome of environmental sustainability in a bottle.

      That is probably the most ridiculous overstatement I’ve ever heard – and I work in the PR / marketing industry. The only way an industry whose prime export is plastic will be the epitome of environmental sustainability is if it ceases to exist. I’ll debate on the health factor of bottled versus tap, but now we’re just being absurd.

  6. There you go again, devaluing WATER — the essense of life — while your stare at the wafer-thin, 100% recycleble bottle. We sell clean, fresh water to people on the go and/or who can’t abide the taste or smell of chlorine. Since our modern world is fundamentally based on strong, light-weight plastic, it’s best to leave your decidedly Luddite concept of “plastic” out of any reasonable debate. You’re knocking the healthiest beverage around.

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