Most of us drink bottled water at one time or another. It’s sold everywhere—in supermarkets, corner stores, concert venues, theaters, etc. Can we even imagine not drinking bottled water? Realistically, it’s important not only to imagine it, but also imperative to start practicing it. Planet Earth depends on us.
Bottled water marketing campaigns have been so successful in making people suspicious of tap water that sales skyrocketed 700 percent between 1997 and 2005.1 With this growth in sales, environmental degradation, landfill waste and other abuses associated with bottled water also grew exponentially.
Although most people think of bottled water as being healthier than tap water, bottled water is not subject to the same high level of scrutiny and regulation that the federal government mandates for tap water. In fact, the chemical pollution standards for bottled water and tap water are nearly identical—most brands of bottled water are simply filtered tap water. In the U.S., while public water utilities are required to disclose their testing results, bottled water companies are not required to release testing data, except in the state of California, where a minimum of information is required. Essentially, when we buy bottled water, we can never be sure of what we’re getting—research done by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) found 38 contaminants in 10 popular brands of bottled water, including disinfection byproducts, industrial chemicals, arsenic, fertilizer residue and pain medication. 2
Water is life and an Active Wellness lifestyle requires drinking lots of water to maintain a healthy body. We also owe it to ourselves and future generations to minimize waste in order to save the environment. Producing less plastic waste by breaking the bottled water habit is key to this effort. Here’s why:
- Every year, the equivalent of 17 million barrels of oil are used to produce plastic water and soda bottles in the U.S.—not including transportation. Bottling water produces more than 2.5 million tons of carbon dioxide per year.3
- Next to plastic bags, plastic bottles are the most prevalent source of pollution found on our beaches and shores. Each year, over 500 billion disposable bottles and cups end up littering our soil, rivers, lakes and oceans, killing countless fish and animals.4
- Once you add in the water needed to manufacture paper labels and transportation fuel, it actually takes closer to six bottles of water to produce one liter of bottled water.5
- From creation to disposal, plastic water bottles contribute to air pollution. And many of the chemicals that go into their production continue to leach out into the air and into the water they hold.
It’s really not that difficult to change. Get used to taking a portable water bottle when on-the-road and using a countertop water filter at home. Filtering tap water at home and from water fountains elsewhere can help remove impurities and make water safer to drink. Pathogens, dirt, chemicals and other contaminants are effectively removed by micro-, ultra- and nano-filters.6
Two young scientists have tackled the problem of plastic waste in a huge way. Jeanny Yao and Miranda Wang have developed a bacterium that may transform plastic into CO2 and water. They have already won the Perlman science prize and obtained financing to begin developing the product.7 As we look forward to other innovations, we can all contribute to the well-being of the environment by drinking filtered water instead of bottled water.
Nikken is a pioneer in water filtration and helps us break the bottled water habit. The PiMag® Sport Bottle and the PiMag® Waterfall feature state-of-the-art filtration that exceed NSF standards. Both feature multiple filtration systems that help remove chloramine, chlorine, cysts, lead and bacteria.