Laura Nayibi Arias, Culture Editor
Bottled water corporations have triggered a misconception that has struck the nation and as a result, has highly benefited the industry. This misconception embodies the notion that bottled water is the cleanest and safest water to consume, therefore Americans should drink bottled water especially as freshwater becomes more polluted, and drinkable water more scarce. But is bottled water actually safer? What are the cost-benefits of drinking bottled water?
Dr. Sarah Janssen, science partner with the Natural Resources Defense Council in San Francisco expresses that, “Bottled water isn’t any safer or purer than what comes out of the tap.” She suggests that bottled water is less well-regulated, and one is more likely to know what’s in tap water than in bottled water. Writer Elena Conis from the LA Times states that, “bottled water may seem preferable. But coming as it does from many of the same sources as tap, bottled water is subject to many of the same contaminants. It’s held to essentially the same standards as tap water, albeit by the Food and Drug Administration and not the EPA.”
Essentially, bottled water is not much cleaner than tap water. The only difference is that it costs money from all spectrums, making it less efficient and completely environmentally unfriendly. In addition to the matter, bottled water is made with plastic which takes many resources to produce. Treehugger.com has listed a few jaw-dropping facts about bottled water:
• Out of the 50 billion bottles of water being bought each year, 80 percent end up in a landfill, even though recycling programs exist.
• 17 million barrels of oil are used in producing bottled water each year. Bottled water costs 1,000 times more than tap water.
• Drinking 2 litres of tap water a day only costs 50 cents per year.
The plastic from which most disposable plastic bottles are made, more often than not, contains harsh chemicals. For example, to soften or harden the plastic, chemicals such as Bisphenol A (BPA) or phthalates are used. When we use these bottles and do not recycle them, such chemicals, among others, leach out into landfills and soon after, water bodies. Some think that reusing these plastic bottles is sustainable, but though their intentions are understandable, not being informed about the outcomes may be dangerous when reusing these plastics. Just like the chemicals stated above can contaminate landfills and water sources, when they start leaching out chemicals and someone is still drinking out of the bottle, the person comes in direct contact with these chemicals.
So what does this tell us? Quality water in most parts of the U.S. is available cost-free and instead of buying bottled water which uses many resources and costs money, we should purchase reusable water bottles instead. This would be both economically efficient, environmentally friendly, and will not directly intoxicate us.
Here are some websites through which you can find reusable bottles:
Buy reusable bottles at local business!
You can find Klean Kanteen and
Urban Canteen reusable bottles at:
4 Market Street
Oneonta, NY 13820
Other reusable bottles at:
Dicks Sporting Goods
Southside Mall 5006 State Highway 23
Oneonta, NY 13820