The Truth About Bottled Water

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Water is both fundamental and essential to human life. It keeps our joints lubricated, our bodies hydrated, and our planet healthy.

As a general guideline, the Institute of Medicine recommends men and women over the age of 19 consume 3.7 litres and 2.7 litres of water per day, respectively. While the exact amount may vary depending on lifestyle factors, we access the water we need through liquids and foods with high water content (watermelon and cucumber, for example).

To satisfy these fluid requirements, more and more North Americans are reaching for plastic water bottles over simple tap water. There is a sweeping misconception that bottled water is not only more convenient than tap water, but also safer, cleaner, and healthier. But there’s a big price tag for this belief: bottled water drinkers spend an average of $100 billion dollars per year on single-use plastic bottles.

At Acuva, education is at the core of our business; we want to help our customers make choices that yield the highest financial, physical, and environmental benefits. To help you settle the longstanding bottled water vs. tap water debate, here are four bottled water facts that may surprise you.

 

Plastic water bottles: The facts

1. 25% of bottled water is sourced straight from the tap.

In recent years, major bottled water brands like Dasani and Aquafina have been found guilty of fraudulent labeling, marketing their products as sourced from natural springs when, in reality, they draw from public water sources—the same as household tap water.   

 

2. Tap water quality is more strictly regulated than bottled water quality.

Though you might pay up to 1,000 times more for a single-use plastic bottle than you would tap water (Americans, on average, spend $1.22 per gallon on bottled water), the quality of the product is generally equivalent or even inferior to what you have access to at home. Unlike the Food and Drug Administration that oversees the bottled water industry, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is known for enforcing strict tap water testing and filtration regulations.

 

3. It can take up to 700 years for one plastic water bottle to decompose.

Petroleum-based plastics like polyethylene terephthalate (PET) don’t decompose the same way organic materials do. Each year, an estimated 35 billion plastic bottles are landfilled, littered, or incinerated instead of recycled, putting unnecessary stress on landfills and the environment by wasting upwards of $1 billion of reusable plastic.

 

4. It takes three times the amount of water to produce a plastic water bottle than it does to fill it.

The energy spent on manufacturing bottled water per year is enough to power 190,000 households for the same length of time.

 

Global consumption of bottled water grows by as much as 10 percent each year, which means every little change matters. Looking for ways to reduce your environmental footprint and go green? Here are a few options:

  • Organizations like Ban the Bottle are committed to eliminating the production and circulation of plastic water bottles. Their website is full of facts, tools, and resources to help you take action.

  • Invest in a bottled water alternative. While there are many ways to purify drinking water, making a one-time investment in a UV-LED water disinfection system is proven to deliver a purer, more potable product. One Acuva system can eliminate as many as 1.2 million plastic water bottles over its lifetime.