Water is one of the most essential resources, not only for the Earth to flourish but also for humans to survive. Water makes up almost 70 percent of the human body; thus making it a requirement to drink more than 8 glasses of water a day. However not everyone drinks water from tap all the time. Most of the time, people often drink water from plastic bottles (more commonly known as bottled water) because it’s much more convenient and handy.
Based on statistics, people across the world consume over $100 Billion worth of bottled water with a total of 50 Billion plastic bottles being used. In addition, 17 million barrels of oil are used in the production of disposable water bottles annually, in other words, enough to fuel 1 million cars for an entire year. Drinking bottled water would cost 300 to 2,000 times more than drinking your usual tap water at home. The largest market for these bottled water is United States, followed by China and Mexico.
Why You Should Never Buy Bottled Water
Drinking bottled water may come in handy at times. However, it has a tremendous negative impact on the environment and human health. Its leading negative impact on the environment is plastic pollution. Drinking bottled water creates massive plastic waste. And the idea of recycling could not compensate its damage because majority of those bottles end up in a landfill. The Association of Plastic Recyclers reported that there was a 31.8 percent recycling rate in the United States; however, this only accounts for ⅓ of the plastic bottle problem.
Two-thirds of them or around 35 billion plastics end up in landfills where they release toxic chemicals when they finally decompose hopefully for 450 years. Some plastic bottles can also be found scattered around beaches, sewage systems, rivers, and in the ocean endangering the marine life. Oil is a requirement for plastic bottle manufacturing and it could also cause environmental hazards, particularly to the ocean when handled mistakenly just like the DeepWater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that killed over 8,000 birds, marine mammals and sea turtles with other dolphins still being affected by the effects of an oil spill.
No one is sure that drinking water bottled is much safer than tap water. Even a sealed water bottle can have some dangers to your health. As stated in an article from CBS.com, bottled water were recalled for safety precautions due to presence of water contaminants like microbacteria, algae, and chlorine. There were also incidents of crickets being found in Texas bottled water in 1994. Recently, a woman found a larvae stuck in her bottled water in North Carolina.
The University of Alberta Student Life warned the public to not be fooled by luring advertisements of these bottled water companies because they might contain phthalates, mold, microbes, benzene, trihalomethanes, even arsenic that are harmful to consumers, especially those recyclable PET water bottles. Other health effects could harm the brain, behavior and prostate gland of fetuses, infants and children.”
The Hidden Abuse of Bottled Water Companies
Fresh water is a scarce resource and it needs regulation to properly allocate this kind of essential commodity. However, some companies still take advantage of what is given to them. Many bottled water businesses are getting more water than what they are expected to get as indicated on their permits. This unethical business practice causes imbalances and disproportions on fresh water allocation especially during calamities like drought.
In 2015, government officials did some investigation about Nestle’s overhauling of water resources. According to their findings, the company is taking out 1.9 million gallons of water every single day from the San Bernardino National Forests since 1894 with no any governing body regulating their water consumption on the forest. It was also found out that this activity led to some effects on the nearby flora and fauna. Moreover, their license to take out water from this reservoir has already expired since 1988 but the National Parks Service allowed them to do so for the next two decades by just paying them $524. Aside from Nestle, other companies were also involved in water theft like Starbucks and Walmart.
Tips on Better Water Consumption
Here are some tips which you can follow for better water consumption and avoid the use of plastic water bottles.
1. Invest in your tap water.
Learn more about your tap water at home and buy some water filter that best suits your budget.
2. Do not reuse plastic bottles for drinking.
You can try to upcycle plastic bottles but never reuse them because they might have contaminants that could affect your health.
3. Support Anti-Water Bottle campaigns.
Make sure to know and support your advocacy to lessen the use of plastic water bottles.
4. Bring a water container or tumbler everywhere you go.
To avoid buying bottled water, try to carry water tumblers so you can just refill them when you run out of water.
Never Buy Bottled Water Again!
Bottled water is a threat to human life, and all other lives around us because of its negative impacts and the negative consequences that go with it. To maintain safety and health of everyone, drinking water from plastic bottles will never be a good choice.
In the end, it is still up to you but your daily decisions will surely make a difference. It is hard to imagine how an individual’s actions can affect others on an environmental and global scale.