Decades ago, hearing that someone is selling water would make you laugh at people buying it. Yet, today, bottled water is one of the most sold items in the world.
This has become possible because water has a special symbolic status in the world; it is an absolute necessity for survival. Every human deserves pure water, which tastes good and is free from harmful impurities and contaminants. However, millions of people around the world are devoid of this blessing. The drinking water reaching the majority population is said to contain one or more contaminants, even in developed countries.
While this inspired some to make pure water available to all, in contrast, it also motivated a few to make a fortune out of it. One such inspiration or motivation led to the establishment of bottled water companies or mineral water companies.
The question that arises here is, whether the bottled water is truly pure and all, or is it just another genius business idea to earn billions.
To answer it, let’s discuss some advantages and disadvantages of bottled water.
Advantages of Bottled water
There is no doubt that the bottled water looks clear, smells good, and tastes better compared to boiled or tap water. Whether it is pure or not, let’s decide this by further review.
Most bottled water companies deliver it at your doorsteps.
Secondly, even if you have to transfer it from larger containers to small ones, it still saves you from daily hassle of boiling the water.
As long as there are some shops nearby, you’ll be able to get a bottle or two without a problem. Also, these bottles are not difficult to carry around when needed.
Disadvantages of bottled water
Seeing all those advertisements, one may start to believe that bottled water is actually collected from spring water, then filtered, and then further mineralized for good health. However, according to a 4-year study by NRDC, one-fourth of all are fake and filled by normal tap water.
According to another report, 64% of the total water bottles come from nothing but municipal tap water sources.
Health risks of bottled water originate from its contaminants, which may include:
After testing 103 brands and 1000 water bottles, NRDC discovered that 25% of these had arsenic and other toxic contaminants. Moreover, some even contained industrial chemicals such as toluene and xylene. Both of these substances cause numerous diseases, including liver, gastric, and kidney ones.
In a study comparing the tap water with bottled one, the later contained nearly 400 times more bacterial contamination per milliliter at 37 °C.
Some of the bacteria found include S. aureus, klebsiella, pseudomonas, and E.coli. These cause diseases that range from skin infections to lung and intestinal diseases.
W.H.O recently has announced a review of water bottles tested in different countries. According to the report, 90% of them contained plastic particles. The report included many countries such as the US, China, India, Mexico, and Thailand. Some of these had a concentration of 10,000 plastic pieces per liter.
These substances included nylon, polyethylene terephthalate (PET), and polypropylene. The effects of these are still unclear, but studies have shown that they can attract and bind with other pollutants in your body, aiding in their accumulation and toxicity.
DEHA, a chemical used in the production bottles, is said to be a possible carcinogen. Moreover, contaminants such as arsenic and antimony may also cause cancers of liver, lung, bladder, and kidney.
A decent quality bottled water costs around 6-9.5$ per gallon, almost 2000 times the price of tap water.
Annually, you will be paying around 2000$ to 3500$, without any assurance of its purity. NRDC says, only 10% of the cost is actually for water, and the rest is the cost of bottle manufacturing and transportation.
Alternatively, you can either boil your tap water or buy a water filter. A water filter might be the best choice here for many reasons. It costs much less, requires one-time installation, and provides better quality water than bottled water. Depending upon your need, you can either go for a faucet filter, under-sink filter, or even a whole house water filter. All of these require thousands of times less money in the long run while providing the best quality of water.
As social beings, we are naturally protective of our environment. We love our seas and like to breathe in the fresh air. Nevertheless, we are also one of the major causes of environmental degradation.
Bottle water companies produce hundreds of tons of plastic per year. This plastic accumulates on our lands, pollutes our water sources, and destroys the quality of our marine life. In return, we get to drink more contaminated water, which leads us to buy more bottled water for purity, and the cycle continues.
To save our environment, we have to stop this cycle as soon as possible, ultimately saving our own lives as well as the beautiful surface and aquatic life around us.
In conclusion, bottled water may only be your choice when you are outdoors and forgot to bring some from home. Bottled water costs you a lot more, while there is no guarantee that it is safe and free from contaminants.
On the other hand, a water filter, as simple as a faucet one, might be a much better choice. It can eliminate almost all of the contaminants with a price that is insignificant compared to the cost of bottled water. Even outdoors, a portable water filter may be a better choice.
Additionally, you can check the comparison between some of the best types of water filters and choose the one you need!