Bottled waterit’s just not worth it

It’s a testament to how powerful marketing is when companies like Dasani, Aquafina, and Evian can sell us regular, if not worse, water with catchy slogans and appealing bottles and turn themselves into billion dollar industries. Bottled water is a scam for a multitude of reasons. Not only is bottled water generally 100 to 1,000 times more expensive than tap water and dirtier than tap water, it disposes a ridiculous amount of waste. On the purity issue of bottled water, city utilities have to meet stringent requirements in order to provide drinking water to a community. The purity issue is most probably linked to the countless numbers of brands that engage in false advertising. Most bottles have pictures of mountain springs on their label, leading the consumer to falsely believe that it comes from there. According to Co-op America, as much as 40 percent of bottled water is actually just tap water. Co-op America also found that bottled water labeled as “Alaska Premium Glacier Drinking Water: Pure Glacier Water from the Last Unpolluted Frontier” was actually drawn from Public Water System #111241 in Juneau. Even larger bottled water companies like Aquafina and Dasani have been hit with similar allegations. U.S. News & World Report explains, “Aquafina is municipal water from spots like Wichita, Kansas. Coca Cola’s Dasani (with minerals added) is taken from the taps of Queens, New York, Jacksonville, Florida, and elsewhere.” In addition, bottled water generally does not have to meet standards anywhere as high as those of a city. On top of that, the water which stagnates on supermarket shelves frequently has a higher bacteria count than water from public utilities. If bottled water is the same quality as tap water, we might as well drink tap water and save the incredible amount of waste the bottles create. Studies done by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) estimate 1.5 million tons of plastic are used each year in the bottled water industry. Out of that ridiculous amount, nine out of ten plastic water bottles end up as trash, according to studies done by the Container Recycling Institute (CRI). When plastic bottles are incinerated along with the trash, they release harmful toxins into the air and ground. Pat Franklin, the executive director of the CRI, commented on how it was ironic that people drink bottled water out of fear of tap water, but then the pollution from bottled water results in more polluted water. All of this adds up to a vicious cycle that harms us more in the long run than it debatably helps us in the short run. On top of the environmental standpoint, there are also energy and economic drawbacks to using bottled water. CRI estimates that supplying thirsty Americans with water bottles for one year consumes more than 1.5 million barrels of oil, which is enough to generate electricity for more than 250,000 homes for a year, or enough to fuel 100,000 cars for a year. If the fact that bottled water wasteful and basically tap water doesn’t deter you, maybe looking at its ridiculous price will. For the price of one bottle of Evian, a person can use 1,000 gallons of tap water in the home. Americans spend $10,700 on bottled water… every minute; and people think nothing of paying three times as much per gallon for bottled water as they do for gasoline. Lastly, the taste issue is the one that is probably most important to each of us because it affects us directly. A 2001 WWF study confirmed the widespread belief that consumers associate bottled water with social status and healthy living. The consumers’ perceptions trump their objectivity, because even some people who claim to have switched to bottled water “for the taste” can’t even tell the difference. When Good Morning America conducted a taste test of its studio audience, New York City tap water was chosen as the heavy favorite over the oxygenated water 02, Poland Spring, and Evian. Bottled water is a huge scam. Through buying bottled water, we hurt the earth and our wallets for a worse product that clearly doesn’t differ from regular tap water. And all of this occurs because of the marketing geniuses working in big skyscrapers that have brainwashed us into thinking that bottled water comes straight out of the pristine landscapes of utopia, while tap water comes from rat-infested sewers. Clearly this is not the case, and I urge you to refrain from buying bottled water as much as possible in the future.