The Real Cost of Bottled Water

Only Footprints: Bringing you what you need to know about going green and making less of a harmful impact on the environment.  

By: Collin Dieffenbach

Bottled water may seem like a convenient and safe way to get your daily hydration. In reality, the consumption of bottled water is slowly destroying our wallets and our planet.

Most people are probably under the impression that tap water contains hazardous chemicals and disease transferring bacteria that are not found in bottled water. However, this is not the case. In the most recent study of brand name bottled water, where the NRDC tested 103 brands, they found that one third of the bottled water brands contained more chemicals, bacteria and carcinogens than what is allowed in tap water. Of course, the bottled water is safe to drink, it just isn’t as perfect as it claims to be. The EPA regulates our tap water, while bottled water is regulated by the FDA. However, due to certain flaws with the FDA regulation system around 60-70 percent of bottled water is free from regulation. Bottled water doesn’t even taste better according to Americans. Across the country, bottled water has failed blind taste tests when compared to tap water. There are a few components where bottled water trumps tap water, energy consumption and cost.

Bottled water requires 2,000 times the energy than using the tap in your home. In fact, in one year, enough energy is used in producing water bottles to fill over 1 million cars with fuel. To put that into numbers that is 17 million barrels of crude oil used annually not even including transportation. And for some reason, recycling these bottles is not a priority for most people. Over 80 percent of bottles will end up in a landfill each year, the remaining bottles will be either incinerated or recycled. That is a wasted $1 billion dollars or 38 billion water bottles. The process of making a bottle of water is not very efficient either. To fill a one liter bottle of water, three liters are required. A lot of water and money is wasted in the process of bottling water.

Drinking bottled water does not even help you save money at the bank. One gallon of water from the tap costs less than one cent. While a gallon of water can average $8 (based on single bottle prices). But this price markup doesn’t stop bottled water from being one of the most consumed beverages in America. If one person “banned the bottle” for a year, 300 bottles of water would be taken out of landfills, and they would save around $500. Using a reusable bottle is ecofriendly and money smart. With a reusable bottle you can refill your bottle at more location for free.

Making the switch to a reusable water bottle is the best way to save the planet and your wallet, all while making water convenient and practical.



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