Posted on May 25, 2016
Bottled water is one of the most convenient beverages to find these days, its right up there with Coke and Pepsi in terms of availability and abundance in the marketplace. These large corporations alsocontrol 50% of bottled water market share.
The good news is that more and more Americans are drinking bottled water which is a sign of them drinking less soda, a sugary phosphoric acid drink in many ways. As much as we encourage people to take bottled water as opposed to soda, bottled water hasits own disadvantages. However, the main disadvantagehas nothing to do with the bottled water but it has everything to do with the plastic containers that are used to package the water. The use of plastics in packaging water not only changes its taste but has become an environmental hazard over the years.
A look at the Statistics
An estimated 50 billion bottles of water are consumed each year across the world. 60% of the bottled water consumed globally is taken by people living in the United States. This means that an estimated 30 billion water bottles are generated in the country each year. Every second, 1500 bottles of water are consumed in the U.S alone. Based on 2011 statistics, Americans consumed an estimated 9.1 billion gallons of water each year which translated to 29.1 gallons per person per year.
Cost of Manufacturing Plastic Water Bottles
Each year, 17 million barrels of oil are used to produce plastic bottles used to package drinking water. This amount of oil is enough to fuel one million cars for a whole year. According to the Earth Policy Institute, the amount of energy that goes into pumping, processing, transporting and keeping bottled water refrigerated accounts for more than 50 million barrels of oil every year, a cost that is unnecessary because tap water is available in homes at affordable costs.
Impact of Plastic Bottles on the Environment
The environmental cost due to the huge bottled water consumption has caused some local governments in the U.S and Canada to consider banning sale of packaged water. Though this appears to be an extreme move, the following surprising scientific concerns back their concerns:
First, each week, 40,000 18-wheelers are used to deliver bottled water across the U.S. This is wasteful in terms of fossil fuels used in production and transportation of the water.
2.Plastic waste is not Biodegradable
Plastic bottles used to package bottled water take more than 1000 years to biodegrade and their incineration produces toxic fumes. Plastic bottles do not biodegrade, instead, they photo-degrade meaning they degrade through light processes, not biological processes. They are made from recyclable plastics known as polyethylene terephthalate(PET). In the oceans, where tons of plastic bottles and grocery bags end up, plastics are exposed to light. According to a 2009 research undertaken by Nihon University in Chiba, Japan, plastics in warm ocean waters can degrade within a year. However, the small bits of plastics contain toxic chemicals such as PS Oligomer and BisphenolA (BPA) that end up in guts of marine animals or get washed off shore where people come into direct contact with the toxins. The Ocean Conservatory estimates that each square mile of the ocean contains more than 46000 pieces of plastics floating on it.
3.Only a small percentage of plastic bottles gets recycled
An estimated 80% of water bottles in the U.S are used once and become litter. Only 25%of used plastic water bottles are recycled, the remaining 75% end up in lakes, landfills, oceans and streams where they are likely to never decompose fully. In the U.S, PET recycle rate is about 23% which means than 38 billion plastic bottles are disposed off to landfills and other places each year. The U.S landfills are estimated to be carrying 2 million tons of disposed plastic water bottles alone.
Safety of Bottled Water
Most people buy bottled water because they perceive it to be safer than tap water. In the U.S, 24% of all bottled water in the market is either Aquafina by Pepsi or Dasani by Coca Cola. Both brands bottle purified municipal water. According to a senior scientist, bottled water is not any safer than tap water. Public water in the U.S undergoes various tests for bacteria on a daily basis as required by the regulator, the Environmental Protection Agency. The outcome of these tests is made public. Even so, tap water is far from perfect because the purity has many variables depending on location. On the other hand, bottled water is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration which only requires testing of the water on a weekly basis and does not make the test outcomes public. Compared to bottled water, tap water is subjected to more stringent safety. Despite marketing claims that bottled water is safe, independent testing done on 10 different bottled water brands in 2008 found some 38 contaminants in the packaged water.The plastic also leaches into bottled water and has been linked to various kinds of cancer.Dangerous hormone-disrupting phthalates leach into the bottled water we drink after as little as 10 weeks of storage. The leaching happens much faster when bottled water is left in the sun.A study conducted by the National Resources Defense Council about plastic bottled water shows that 22% of water tested contained contaminant levels that exceed state health limits.Interestingly, San Francisco draws its public drinking water supply from nearby Yosemite National Park. The water is so pure it does not require filtering as reflected in the Water Quality Reports.
Cost of Buying Bottled Water
In 2009, Americans spent 10.6 billion dollars on purchasing bottled water. This is about 1000 times the cost of tap water. The irony is almost half of the water bottled in 2009, 48.7% came from municipal tap water supplies. An increasing amount of bottled water is today coming from tap water. When the cost of bottled water is applied to water bills in homes, the monthly water bill would come to about 9000 dollars. The table below shows a cost comparison of bottled water.
Why Drops of Balance is the Game Changer
Drops of Balance, a mineral concentrate helps purify tap water from home. This unique mineral solution removes toxins such as fluoride, mercury, lead, arsenic and chlorine and adds important trace minerals that give the water value because empty water draws minerals from the body. If you are interested in trying Drops of Balance, use the coupon code: TRY16 in order to get an introductory price for the 16oz size.
All prices are in USD