As Americans get more health conscience there are more and more people reaching for bottled water as a source of beverage. Most people think that because water is bottled that there must be something special about it. I mean, nobody would bottle this stuff and sell it for more money if the stuff in the sink is just as good right? Actually, there are many reasons to ditch bottled water and get a filter for the tap water instead.
Most of the people that drink from bottled water actually are drinking water from a filtered tap. Bottled water is labeled with either a label that says “from a municipal source” or “community water system”. If the label says “community water system” then that bottle of water is just filled with tap water that has been filtered. About 40% of all bottled water in the United States is tap water.
That begs the question, if this bottled water is just tap water then how much money am I wasting on this bottled water. One gallon of bottled water (about 8 bottles of 500 mL) can cost anywhere from $0.89 (if you buy them in large quantities) to $8.26 (if you by each of the eight bottles individually). Tap water costs approximately $0.002 per gallon. If one gallon of tap water costs $0.002 then that means one penny will buy 5 gallons of tap water, or 40 bottles of 500 mL bottles.
Of course the extra money might be worth it if drinking bottled water is safer than drinking filtered tap water. Unfortunately tests say that is not the case. There are constantly new studies saying that bottled water can include fertilizer, disinfectants, pharmaceuticals and other chemicals.
On top of being more expensive and not at all more healthy, bottled water is also a danger to the environment. In order to produce the amount of plastic that it takes to provide Americans with bottles for water it takes the equivalent of 17.6 million barrels of oil. That oil is used to produce 2.7 million tons of plastic every year.
Hey, at least we’re recycling all of that bottled water right? Wrong. It is estimated that 88% of Americans do not recycle their water bottles. According to the Container Recycling Institute there are 30 million plastic bottles being disposed of every single day. Meanwhile there are 37,800 18-wheelers driving around the United States delivering bottled water alone.
We’ve established that bottled water is a lot more expensive than tap water. We’ve established that bottled water is actually not more healthy than tap water. Finally, unless you have to take a jet in order to get to your sink and then you dispose of plastic just for the fun of it after getting some tap water, then bottled water is a lot worse for the environment than tap water.