The Fruits of Civilization (71-15) Bottled Water

 Bottled Water

The bad publicity about American tap water has been a boon to business. Demand for fizzy drinks has slowed as the public becomes aware of sugar’s tax on health. Drinks companies have countered by promoting bottled water.

Bottled water is often more hazardous than tap water, aside from the fact that 2/3rds of US bottled water is tap water. (When the source of bottled water is not from a municipal water supply, it may instead be from polluted groundwater. There are no effective regulations of water sourcing: the government heedlessly assumes that water is water.) Thanks to industry lobbying, the safety regulations covering bottled water are laxer than for tap water. When regulators do bother to inspect plants, they commonly find problems. Further, single-serve bottled water is commonly packaged in a plastic which contains carcinogens and other toxic compounds which may leach into the water, especially when exposed to prolonged heat, such as during the summer. Almost all bottled water is rich in microplastics. People who drink only bottled water ingest an extra 90,000 bits of plastic annually.

What comes around goes around. Once the water has been consumed, the bottle becomes trash, thereupon contributing to the plastic pollution problem.