Bottled water is healthy water - or so we believe. Realistically, bottled water is just filtered tap water. That fact isn't stopping people from buying a lot of it. Estimates place worldwide bottles water sales at between $70 and $140 billion each year.
Although it can be easy and convenient to pick up bottled water, the end cost to the environment is staggering.
Bottled water means garbage
Bottled water produces up to 1.5 million tonnes of plastic waste a year! That plastic requires up to 1.5 billion litres of oil per year to produce. And while the plastic used to bottle beverages is of high quality and in demand by recyclers, over 80% of plastic bottles are simply thrown away. That assumes empty bottles actually make it to a trash can. Plastic waste is now at such a volume that it is just spinning endlessly in our worlds oceans. This poses a huge risk to marine life, killing birds and fish that mistaken it for food.
Thanks to its slow decay rate, the majority of all plastic ever produced still exists - somewhere.
It's no healthier than tap water
No, it's probably not from the deep, pristine pools of spring water or the majestic alpine peaks as marketers would like us to believe.
In reality, bottled water is just water. Filtered tap water, the same quality water that you can receive from your Mountain Fresh water purifier!
Bottled water is not good value
Bottled water is about 300 times the price of tap water! As most bottled water is in fact filtered tap water. You have made a great investment by purchasing a water filter because you can receive the same quality water from home for just a fraction of the price.
The Australian town of Bundanoon has banned commercially-bottled water, a bold move believed to be a world first.
The ban, which is supported by local shopkeepers, means bottled water can no longer be brought in the town. Instead, reusable bottles are being sold, which can be refilled for free at new filtered drinking fountains installed by the council.
The ban was triggered by a Sydney drink company's plan to build a water extraction plant in the town. Huw Kingston, a café owner, said townsfolk were horrified by the idea of them taking water here, trucking it to Sydney and bringing it back in bottles to be sold in shops at 300 times the price of tap water. Bottled water is widely viewed as an environmental menace because of the energy consumed producing and transporting it, and because most bottles end up in landfill sites.
"We're saying to people, you can save money and save the environment at the same time. The alternative doesn't have a sexy brand, doesn't have pictures of mountain streams on the front of it. It comes out of your tap" Dee said.
Only two people voted against the ban. One was concerned it would lead to more sugary drinks being consumed. The other was Geoff Parker, Director of the Australasian Bottled Water Institute.