Drinking bottled water is something we are all guilty of, but many of us don’t even know that it’s something to feel guilty about in the first place.
Drinking bottled water has almost become a way of life for many Americans.
People are often skeptical of tap water and think it’s not as safe as drinking bottled water. Some people refuse to drink tap simply because they don’t like the taste.
The distaste for tap water doesn’t have a lot of bases. Thanks to the Safe Water Drinking Act, almost all public tap water is drinkable and delicious.
Still, sometimes the sight of a cold water bottle is just too tempting to pass up.
However, it turns out that there are plenty of reasons to resist temptation. There are a ton of really good reasons you should consider skipping bottled water altogether.
Plastic bottles leach chemicals
You’ve probably noticed that plastic water bottles become softer after being left in the sun. The plastic can fully melt if enough heat is present.
Moreover, bottled water can sometimes taste a little plastic-y, and that’s not just a coincidence.
According to NPR, chemicals in plastic products can leach in and contaminate the container’s contents.
The biggest culprit of this is BPA, an industrial chemical in plastics that acts as a hormone and can impact the brain development of babies.
Even plastics that are labeled BPA-free often test positive for other dangerous compounds.
A lot of bottled water comes from the tap anyway
Commercials for bottled water lead us to believe that our H2O is being sourced from heavenly springs with all sorts of healthy properties.
The reality, however, looks a lot more like the inside of a factory. Today estimates that up to 25% of bottled water being sold is just filled with tap water before being sealed.
Words like “purified” or “drinking water” lead us to believe that bottled water was filled at an oasis, but it’s code for tap. Many of the most popular and least-expensive brands are guilty of this.
Bottled water may be less safe than tap water
Tap water has to meet all kinds of standards, but bottled water does not have to adhere to the same regulations.
The lack of oversight on bottled water can make it less safe and more likely to contain harmful materials than water from the tap.
In reality, bottled water has the reputation for being “pure,” but it’s just an illusion. In reality, you have no idea how well the water was treated.
Bottled water has no proven benefits
Many people seem concerned about the quality of tap water and opt for bottled water to be safe.
However, this opinion about bottled water being more healthy is completely wrong.
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) reports that a four-year review of the safety of the water industry found no evidence supporting that bottled water is by any means superior.
In other words, there is absolutely no benefit to buying a $3 designer bottle of water. Just drink the stuff from the tap instead!
Bottle production kills the environment
Water aside, bottles still present issues for us and the environment we live in.
The high demand for water bottles means we use over 17 million barrels of oil every year, according to the Pacific Institute.
That is a whole lot of nonrenewable resources being used unnecessarily. Can we afford to pour our petrol resources into making a bunch of plastic bottles?
Landfills are full of water bottles
Water bottle production is only the beginning of the process in which the containers plague our planet.
The Water Project estimates that there are over 2 million tons of PET plastic water bottles filling up US landfills. For reference, PET is a nickname for the plastic used in the thin, clear plastic bottles most of us are familiar with.
Fortunately, PET bottles can be recycled, but only one in five bottles ever makes it to the recycling bin; the rest are just taking up space and contaminating our precious planet. It takes a whopping 450 years for a plastic bottle to decompose.
Bottled water is expensive
Tap water isn’t technically free, but it’s pretty darn close, especially compared to the expensive bottled stuff.
Look at it this way: You have to spend money on your water bill every month, no matter what.
If you drink tap water, it costs you just a tiny fraction of your water bill. Bottled water costs a heck of a lot more.
Food & Water Watch explains that bottled water can cost anywhere from 89 cents to $8.26 a gallon. Meanwhile, a gallon of tap water costs less than a penny.
This means bottled water is thousands of times more expensive than tap water. So why pay for something you can essentially get for free?
Water bottle production wastes tons of water
Like almost everything in the world, plastic needs a lot of water to be produced.
It sounds a little counterproductive, but it takes a lot of water to make water bottles. It takes a lot more than the bottle itself can even hold.
NPR estimates that it could take six to seven bottles’ worth of water to even make the container. Instead, you could just pour yourself a glass from the tap.
Tap water is extremely safe
Municipal water goes through a lot of tests before it can pour out of our taps.
The EPA is responsible for ensuring our tap water is safe and contaminant-free thanks to the Safe Drinking Water Act.
Some cities even require that water be tested up to 100 times a month.