Recently, California-based Niagara bottling company issued a recall of its bottled spring water following an E. coli scare at two of its plants. Niagara bottles for some 15 other store and private brands. I drink water all day long and unless I’m enjoying a cocktail, it’s my go-to beverage. News of this recall got me thinking about all the reasons why I’ve shunned bottled water and why you should too.
Break Your Bottled Water Habit
- Bottled water is not safer than municipal tap water. The EPA oversees municipal water while the FDA oversees bottled water. While both agencies have similar safety requirements for water, the FDA is understaffed and underfunded and may only audit bottling plants every 2-3 years to ensure compliance with those standards.
- Your bottled water most likely is municipal tap water. Estimates vary, but nearly half of all bottled water comes from municipal water sources, the sames ones that supply your tap. The water is simply filtered and bottled for convenience.
- Bottled water is expensive. When you compare the per gallon cost of your municipal tap water with the per gallon cost of even the least expensive bottled water you can find, you’ll see that the markup on bottled water is outrageous.
- When you buy bottled water that comes from municipal sources, you are not just paying a higher price, you are also taxed twice. Think about it: municipal water is funded by our tax dollars and then you buy bottled water and pay sales tax.
- Not only is the water inside a bottle generally no safer than your tap water, the bottle itself could be dangerous to your health. Many plastic bottles contain chemicals called phthalates and BPA, both of which have been linked to hormonal imbalances and brain dysfunction. Particularly when the bottles are stored in a warm environment, these chemicals begin to leach into the water inside.
- Plastic bottles are ruining our environment. Only about 23% of used plastic bottles are recycled – the rest end up in landfills, in our oceans, and along beaches where they kill fish and wildlife.
- The production of enough plastic bottles to meet current demand for bottled water requires more than 17 million barrels of oil, annually.
Your best bet if you like to drink lots of water is to invest in a good reusable glass bottle (no BPA!) and refill the bottle as needed from the tap. If you don’t like the taste of your tap water, you can try filtering it with an inexpensive filtered water pitcher. You can also install a whole-house water filter which will provide filtered water for making ice in your freezer and even for showering. Even if you go this route, you will still save loads of money versus paying for bottled water.
As for me, I’m a tap water enthusiast. I believe clean water is something I shouldn’t have to pay lots of money for and our planet and wildlife shouldn’t have to pay for it either. And, my tap water has never been recalled!
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