Bottled Water

Ever held a plastic bottle of water in your hand and wonder why you are drinking imported water? Or why I just paid for a plastic bottle filled with tap water? I often do. I know that there is a guilty story waiting to be uncovered but I tend to try not to think about it. I look for arguments that the water I am drinking is healthier than the soft drinks I used to prefer.

Via Boing Boing comes some of the ugly secrets in an article on Fast Company called Message in a Bottle. Some of the ugly truths we are trying to avoid hearing are:

  • Last year, we spent more on Poland Spring, Fiji Water, Evian, Aquafina, and Dasani than we spent on iPods or movie tickets–$15 billion. It will be $16 billion this year.
  • In the United States alone we transport 1 billion bottles of water around a week…One out of six people in the world has no dependable, safe drinking water.
  • In Fiji, a state-of-the-art factory spins out more than a million bottles a day of the hippest bottled water on the U.S. market today, while more than half the people in Fiji do not have safe, reliable drinking water.
  • You can buy a half- liter Evian for $1.35–17 ounces of water imported from France for pocket change. That water seems cheap, but only because we aren’t paying attention…If you bought and drank a bottle of Evian, you could refill that bottle once a day for 10 years, 5 months, and 21 days with San Francisco tap water before that water would cost $1.35.
  • 24% of the bottled water we buy is tap water repackaged by Coke and Pepsi for our convenience.

Naturally there is a trend to counteract the bottled water industry and the water sellers are working hard to maintain that they are connected to health and purity rather than environmental decay.

It is hard to understand why people believe that water imported from another country is a healthy choice. It is strange to think that people are prepared to pay dearly for tap water in a plastic bottle.

There are other issues such as the waste left behind, the health effects of the plastic traces in the water, the transport costs on the environment and the privatization of water…

This is definitely another area where we should be more critical.

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