Here are the issues and some facts about bottled water that you may be unaware of:
Corporations such as Pepsi and Coca-Cola are extracting water from our communities at no cost. You read that correctly. They take it without paying a cent for it, then bottle it and sell it to us at 10,000 times more per gallon than tap water. The crazy thing is, it is tap water. We are paying billions of dollars each year for our own water supply. These corporations are taking our basic right to clean drinking water and turning it into a commodity.
The Safety of Our Water
Many of us actually think we are drinking cleaner, healthier water if it is from a bottle rather than our sink. This could not be further from the truth. Municipal water systems are tested multiple times a day (often 400 times each month) while about 70 percent of bottled water never crosses state lines for sale, making it exempt from FDA oversight. EXEMPT! The bottled water that is not exempt is only subject to tests done by the manufacturers themselves. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s standards for tap water are more stringent than the Food and Drug Administration’s standards for bottled water. Independent studies have demonstrated that Americans are currently being exposed to dangerous levels of chemicals such as bisphenol A due to the consumption of bottled water. Think before you drink!
The Effect On Our Mama Earth
Nearly 90 percent of water bottles are not recycled and wind up in landfills where it takes thousands of years for the plastic to decompose. Our oceans are becoming filled with plastics, killing our marine life. This is a tragedy in itself. Approximately 1.5 million barrels of oil—enough to run 100,000 cars for a whole year—are used to make plastic water bottles, while transporting these bottles burns even more oil.
Hopefully you find this information as heart-wrenching as I do. The good news is that there is something we can do. We are the ones purchasing billions of dollars worth of bottled water. We can stop. If we collectively choose to take a few steps we can solve this problem.
- Drink from a reusable water bottle
- Drink your tap water. If you don’t like the taste, buy a filter (such as Brita).
- Write to your elected officials and ask them to support a ban on bottled water. If you don’t agree there should be a ban, then at least request that they put bottle bills in place. http://www.congress.org/ is a great place to write open letters to public officials.