I've been hearing a few interesting facts about bottled water lately.
The good news is that for the first time in 2016, Americans drank more bottled water than soda. Yay to drinking more water than Coke!
While this is amazing news for peoples' health, it means that more and more of us are falling for the marketing trick that is bottled water. Before the 1970s, when Perrier first started selling it, no one bought water in a plastic bottle. People drank it from the tap, which was perfectly fine. But since then, companies like PepsiCo and Coca-Cola have been seriously pushing marketing for bottled water brands.
Last year, Americans bought 12.8 BILLION GALLONS of bottled water
To give some vague perspective, that would fill the Empire State Building more than 46 times.
That's a lot of plastic. So I've put together a few reasons why we don't necessarily need to be consuming as much bottled water as we currently are!
1. It's expensive
One small bottle of water bought from your average corner shop in New York costs about $1. If you were to buy one small bottle of water a day, it would put you back $365. In London, you could easily spend the same in quids.
This just seems absurd when you can just get it out of the tap.
Just $40 a bottle for these babies
2. It's worse for your teeth
My husband came back from the dentist recently with a really interesting piece of information: due to different mineral combinations, some bottled waters are actually slightly acidic. This is terrible news for our oral hygiene, as acidic food and drink can wear away your teeth, causing decay.
Here's a really interesting experiment showing how tap water can be much safer for your teeth than bottled water.
pH test showing the acidity of bottled water
Check the acidity level of tap water in your area and you will probably find it's better than most bottled water brands.
3. It's actually no healthier or safer than most tap water
In both America and the UK, tap water is more heavily regulated than bottled water. This means that bottled water could come with a higher risk of being contaminated or from a dodgy source.
In New York, tap water comes from reservoirs in the Catskills and Delaware and is rigorously tested - as is UK tap water. Thames Water carries out half a million tests every year to make sure that London water is lovely and clean.
An engineer examines an underground reservoir in Honor Oak, photo from The Londonist
Some water companies add a small amount of fluoride, which is supposed to be good for your teeth. This is a topic that's been highly debated, but I won't get into it right now! But it can be removed with a reverse osmosis filter if you're worried about it.
Please check your local water supply for safety before totally ditching the plastic bottle. While most of the UK and America have safe drinking water, sadly this isn't the case all over the world. If you must drink bottled water, consider buying it in large bulk bottles, which will save plastic in the long run.
4. Some bottled water comes from the same sources as tap water
PepsiCo have admitted that their bottled water, Aquafina, is literally just filtered tap water. Coca-Cola admitted the same with Dasani, which has a few added minerals. And not only that, a lot of American companies (including Dasani and Nestle's Pure Life) source their water from the drought-stricken West coast of America. Jeez.
A map from Business Insider, showing where brands such as Dasani, Pure Life and Aquafina source their water
5. It wastes water
Speaking of drought...
The amount of water needed to make the bottle itself can be up to seven times the amount of water that goes inside it for drinking. And that's before you even think about recycling the bottle.
You can read an interesting article about it here.
Cleaning a reusable bottle uses significantly less, especially if you can pop it in the dishwasher with everything else.
Because of all the conflicting information out there, I can't say for sure that if you use plastic water bottles you're going to get any of the above. But personally, I'd rather do what I can to reduce my chances.
I should also mention that BPA can be found in paper receipts and as a lining in some food cans.
BPA-free Klean Kanteen, just chillin'
7. It doesn't even taste better!
Depending on where you live, tap water can taste just as good as bottled water. Here's a lovely taste test for your entertainment.
8. Plastic pollutes
I think we all know there's too much plastic in the world. Let's not add any more if we don't need to!
The tragedy that is Thilafushi, aka Trash Island, in the beautiful Maldives
So go forth, friends, and say no to the plastic bottle!
Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
AN UNHAPPY TALE
August 10, 2016
PLASTIC FREE: WHY
July 16, 2016
8 WAYS TO QUENCH YOUR THIRST ON THE GO (PLASTIC-FREE, OF COURSE)