Bottled Water: Bad for People, Nature, and Wallets

Bottled water might be one of the biggest ripoffs out there. Per exchange, bottled water might not drain as much money as a fake Nigerian prince scam, but the average person tends to encounter bottled water way more frequently than would-be monarchs.

In 2009, Americans alone spent 10.6 billion dollars on water, even though tap water is safe to drink. For those bottles, they paid up to 1000 X the amount they would pay for tap water. Here’s the even crazier thing: 48.7 % of that bottled water came from tap water — literally just tap water poured into a bottle! And the percentage of bottled water that comes from tap is growing!

Here are some more bottled water facts, from Food and Water Watch:

Bottled water is bad for the environment

Bottled water wastes fossil fuels in production and transport. Bottled water production in the United States used the energy equivalent of 32 and 54 million barrels of oil to produce and transport plastic water bottles in 2007—enough to fuel about 1.5 million cars for a year. Rather than being recycled, about 75 percent of the empty plastic bottles end up in our landfills, lakes, streams and oceans, where they may never fully decompose.

Bottled water is not safer

Tap water in the United States is subject to more stringent federal safety regulations than bottled water. Federal, state, and local environmental agencies require rigorous testing of tap water safety and make test results available to the public. And despite the marketing claims of purity, independent testing of 10 different brands of bottled water conducted in 2008 found 38 contaminants.

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