Scene: Someone proudly says, “I haven’t had any sodas all week! I’ve just been drinking bottled water.”
Compliment sandwich time, “Oh, good for you! There are so many chemicals in sodas. But did you know that plastic bottled water is pretty much the same as tap water? And tap water is way cheaper.”
Well, that was a low-carb sandwich. Only 1 slice of bread.
This is a common situation that I’ve witnessed many times. People think they’re making smarter choices by choosing bottled water over soda, juice, milk, and tap water because they don’t know the facts about plastic bottles and bottled water.
- Did you know that making plastic bottles uses enough oil to fuel about 1.3 million cars for a year?
- Did you know that enough plastic bottles are thrown away each year in the United States to circle the earth four times?
- Did you know it takes about 450 years for a plastic bottle to biodegrade? 450 YEARS.
- Over 50% of bottled water comes from…wait for it…tap water. These companies are coming to your state and taking your water, using oil, money and other resources to make the bottles, then selling it back to you for 560 times the price you’d pay if you got it from the tap!! Outrageous! And you thought movie theater popcorn had a huge markup..
- Tap water is regulated by the EPA, bottled water is not. In fact, bottled water is only loosely regulated by the FDA.
So, if this is so obviously not good for us or the Earth, why do people keep buying it? Marketing.
Beverage companies (think Pepsi and Coke) created a demand for bottled water by proclaiming tap water only worthy of “irrigation and washing dishes.”
So what to do about it? Well, you can start by getting a BPA-free refillable water bottle (a glass bottle would be even better!) If you really don’t like the way your tap water tastes, try a filter for your faucet. And at the very least, recycle your used plastic bottles so that they can be made into something new, instead of sitting in a landfill, the ocean, etc. for 450 years.
Then, tell your friends and your family! We vote with our dollars, so don’t keep voting for bottled water, and don’t let the people you love vote with their dollars either.
Disclaimer: I am not perfect and I’ve been known to enjoy a cold coke on a hot day from time to time. I’m trying to make small changes, and I want to keep getting better.