Proposing a Solution: Why Bottled Water Ruins our Environment
Bottled water is a major contributor to the detriment of the environment, and there are many remedies to this issue. The consumption of bottled water is growing rapidly. It is purchased for a wide variety of purposes, varying from convenience to the accessibility and quality of potable water from public systems. As consumers, we are constantly on the go and are sold very highly on convenience. The question to ask is which alternative seems more appealing, water from the city tap or fresh mountain spring water that is nicely packaged for those on the go moments? However, looking at a study done in Cleveland, Ohio, when bottled water was compared to the tap water, it failed not only in taste tests, but in quality tests as well. Results like these are typical when testing bottled water against tap water. Is bottled water really any cleaner? In many ways bottled water is less regulated than tap water. Is it any tastier? In taste tests people consistently choose tap over bottled water. Bottled water costs over two thousand times more than tap water. Can you imagine paying two thousand times the price of anything else? How about a ten thousand dollar sandwich? Yet the people of the United States buy over half a billion bottles of water a week. That is enough to circle the earth over 5 times. When bottled water came out most people thought that it was just a passing fad. There was no telling what effects bottled water would have on the general population and therefore had never raised any environmental issues until its sudden level of demand. However, over the years soft drinks companies marketed bottled water in a way that consumers began to believe it as a necessity. As these companies continued to pump water from public water sources and resell it back to the public, the level of pollution increased significantly due to the level of plastic used in production of the bottles. This convenience that was made for human kind has so far become an inconvenience to the environment, and as we progress we have begun to discover more and more environmental causes to disease and disruption. Could it be a possible indication that this so called convenience could one day become not just an inconvenience for the environment but also for mankind?
The FDA establishes regulations on how bottled water should be labeled. Two main types of water dominate consumers: spring water and purified water. To be considered one of these types, all companies have to do is give further treatment to the already treated city water. In 2006 in the United States, approximately 44% of all bottled water originated as municipal water and is sold as ‘purified’ water, with the remaining 56% coming from protected springs or groundwater. Most of the purified water sales come from the three producers: the Coca-Cola Company, the Pepsi Cola Company, and Nestle. (Hemphill) The issue however is not just deception from bottling companies; it is the waste that comes along with it. Peter Gleick’s quotes the company Nestle in his book The World's Water, Volume 7: The Biennial Report on Freshwater Resources “bottled water is the most environmentally responsible consumer product in the world”; and, “Nestlé Pure Life is a Healthy, Eco-Friendly Choice”. Nestle proposes that they are environmentally responsible when they trash the environment all along the products life cycle. The problem starts with extraction and production where oil is used to make water bottles. In one year of making bottle water, it takes enough oil to fuel a million cars. (US) Energy is put into making the bottle and shipping it around the world. This hardly seems worth it for something we can finish in 2 minutes. Bottled water is a major source in the environmental issues that the United States has, and by using greener alternatives, this issue can be rid of.
Disposal is on the other...
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