Is bottled water bad?
Any hydration is good hydration. However, some ways are far better than others. At The Water People, we want people to drink more water, at a higher quality, for cheaper, with less waste and environmental impact.
Bottled water isn't bad for people, but it is terrible for the environment.
Environmental impacts begin with bottling at the source, transporting to the manufacturer, transporting to the supply chain, and then direct retailer, warehousing in a number of locations. On top of this, single use plastic bottles and pallet wrapping is simply not good for our environment.
Then there is the financial cost: it costs up to 250 times more than filtered tap water. Water quality is also far less than that of filtered tap water. Of course, bottled water is accessible when out and about, but that can always be addressed with a bit of preparation.
Ready to dip your toes into the game-changing world of filtered tap water? Get in touch with The Water People. We have a hydration solution for all your needs; from your home, to the office.
Here's where bottled water comes in handy. When you are out and about, there aren't a lot of options for water available. Cracking open a fresh bottle of ice cold water can be a very appealing prospect, especially on a hot day.
Certain types of single use water bottles actually degrade over time. Chemicals from the plastic can leach into the water bottle you are drinking, leading to potentially harmful side effects down the track. If you want to stay away from bad plastics, you can:
- Find water bottles that contain safe polyethylene or polypropylene
- Look for personal plastic water bottle with a recycling number of 3 or 7
- Go for a stainless steel, aluminium, or glass water bottle
Spending your hard-earned money on bottled water isn't the only option. It's much more cost-effective to take your own water bottle with you everywhere you go. You can usually find filtered water taps at shopping centres, gyms, and, restaurants, and workplaces. Not only will you save money, but you'll also save on waste. Consider a glass bottle of your own that has an insulated sleeve to keep your water cool.
Waste. It's what everyone is talking about, and with good reason. The Great Pacific garbage patch is a swirling gyre of human-made waste in the centre of the Pacific Ocean, spreading 80,000 metric tonnes of trash over 1.6 million square kilometres. If we want to prevent the growth of this hazard, we need to act by reducing waste.
Here are some ways that bottled water is impacting on the environment:
- There are 100 million single-use plastic bottles used in the world every day.
- 1 in 5 of these will be recycled. The rest will end up in the ocean or as landfill.
- It takes 1 bottle at least 700 years to completely break down, at a minimum.
- It takes over 4 million barrels of oil each year to meet worldwide demand to make plastic bottles.
- The manufacturing process takes 3 litres of water to package 1 litre of bottled water.
Filtered tap water is much better for the environment, because:
- It does not generate any harmful, long term plastic waste.
- It uses far less electricity and water to achieve the same outcome.
- Due to the lack of plastic, transportation, and recycling required, the process uses no petroleum.
When it comes to waste and environmental impact, filtered tap water wins hands down. But at what cost?
Australians spend over $700 million on bottled water annually. That number is estimated to grow well over $1 billion, all of it being effectively poured down the drain. Here are the facts about the cost of bottled water:
- In Australia, one litre of tap water costs $00.01.
- Bottled water, on average, costs $2.53 per litre.
Filtered tap water is the significantly cheaper method of hydration.
- Waterlux offers a high quality chilled filtered tap for around $1,200
- Billi and Zip taps begin at around $2,000 for chilled, filtered taps.
- Filters need to be changed every 6 months or so, for a cost of between $150 and $180.
- If you don't need your drinking water chilled at the source, a twin filter system like Aquakleen Ei Twist Twin costs around $360 for the whole system.
- For the cost of around $4,500, you can produce over 200,000L of filtered water.
- To purchase the same amount of bottled water, it would cost $506,000.
Buying bottled water means paying a premium. If you're paying hundreds of times the value of water, you think you would be getting a better product, right? Well as it stands, you might be paying a whole lot more, and getting a whole lot less.
Australia's quality of tap water leads the world, but with the surge in our population growth and pollution, our water quality is quickly changing. All water utilities in the country must follow 250 rigid guidelines to be classed as drinkable. Many of us don't understand just how lucky we are. Pair our great tap water with modern filtration methods, and you have some of the best quality water on the planet.
- 45% of the world's bottled water actually comes from municipal sources, not mountains in Fiji.
- Bottled water is not subject to the same stringent standards that tap water is held to.
Filtered tap water can offer you better water, at less cost to you and the environment. While tap water contains essential elements like magnesium and calcium, it can also contain trace elements of harmful additives, including:
- Cysts like Cryptosporidium and Giardia
- Dirt and sediment
- Odours and colours
- Heavy metals like lead, mercury and nickel
Filtered tap water can remove all of these chemicals, and many more. In fact, reverse osmosis water can, through filtration, reduce water down to its bare molecular properties, producing the most pure water possible.
Bottled water is an excellent example of great marketing. It's no more pure than the water out of your tap, and it's sometimes worse. For the best quality water, go for filtered tap water.