2010 Blog Action Day: The Bottled Water Industry

Today is Blog Action Day, an event held worldwide that unites bloggers on a single topic to raise awareness and this year’s topic is water.  The subject of water hits close to home as I watch countless people waste their time and money on drinking bottled water, most recently I watched a friend’s passenger side car seat turn into a wasteland for these bottles (some half drunk). Unfortunately, all this bottled water takes 17 million barrels of oil to produce and 86% of them will never be recycled.

The three big bottled water giants – Nestle, PepsiCo, and Coca-Cola – are selling us water tapped from municipal water supplies. Question is: why are we BUYING tapped water when we could be drinking it for free? There is a myth that tap water is not safe to drink. This is false. In the US, tap water is regulated by the EPA whereas bottled water is regulated by the FDA.  The FDA has no reporting requirements meanwhile the EPA requires your local utility to provide an Annual Water Quality Report, also called a Consumer Confidence Report, which must show any violations of drinking water quality standards.  Yes, there are some cities that don’t have the best drinking water and you can research their water reports under the Environmental Working Group’s database however your solution should not be to turn to bottled water as an alternative, however suggest that the water conditions be improved and take a stand.

Another long standing myth is that bottled is convenient. I love that people confuse convenience with “disposability.”  There is nothing convenient about throwing away a bottle that will end up in a landfill. An average of 4 billion bottles end up in U.S. streams costing $70 billion in cleanup and landfill costs.  A plastic water bottle takes 1,000 years to degrade and if burned will release dioxins, some of the most harmful man-made chemicals that exist. Most so-called recycling is actually “downcycling” – producing low grade bottles out of virgin plastics and toxic chemicals.

Still think bottled water is a good idea? How about taking a stand and demanding clean water for all and safer drinking water straight from the tap? If you’re interested, check out this link and watch the video below for more info about bottled water awareness.  I hope you’ll think twice the next time you buy bottled water.

Image Courtesy of shrff14

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  • http://twitter.com/jeffreyfriend jeffreyfriend

    Great post! Those were some really great (and sad) statistics, shocking even. One thing that people could do is buy hard plastic water bottles in place of the non-reusable type that you get at the store. You can refill these hard plastic bottles over and over again. I got mine at Costco (3 for $15) and they last forever!

    • http://www.sukhrajbeasla.com Sukhraj Beasla

      Thanks for the comment, Jeff. Hard plastic bottles are a great alternative and I love that they’re refillable. Also, they won’t pollute the landfills. Thanks for sharing a tip! :)

  • http://KyleClouse.com Kyle Clouse

    This is a great reminder. We all need to be more water conscious and drink much more.

    • http://www.sukhrajbeasla.com Sukhraj Beasla

      Since I looked up these facts, I’ve been conscious of bottled water. I’ve always thought it was ridiculous to buy bottled water but never knew the potential hazards.

  • Julie

    This is why I refuse to open a new bottled water unless I have no other choice.

    • http://www.sukhrajbeasla.com Sukhraj Beasla

      Yes, what’s even worse is that the LA water supply is currently contaminated and they are forced to drink bottled water but it’s all run out. :(

  • http://www.bes.co.uk plumbing

    This is why I seldom use bottled waters. It takes a lot of years before they can be eliminated. Ad what’s sad about this is that 86% of those bottles can never be recycled.

  • http://www.bottledwater.org water facts

    but then not using them compromises the quality of water we drink…why cant we think of an option so that then can be recycled,like water cartons as is milk cartons