Some people would never switch from bottled water to tap, whereas other people prefer tap water over everything else. The tap vs cap issue has long been debated, and even though both of these have their drawbacks, it seems that tap water still fares better than bottled water. What type of water should you be drinking – bottled or tap?
Of course, it all boils down to preferences, some people just cannot be determined to ditch the cap in favour of the tap, but hopefully, a breakdown of the advantages and disadvantages of each can help you see things in a different light, and maybe give tap water another go.
Why is bottled water preferred by so many people? Convenience is undoubtedly an important factor – bottled water is everywhere, it comes in many sizes, shapes and textures (fizzy, mild, still, etc.), and it’s been long marketed as the healthiest, tastiest and freshest type of water in existence. While some of these advantages may hold true upon closer inspection, unfortunately bottled water fails to outrank tap water in two important categories – price and environmental impact. While bottled water does offer a great amount of convenience, this convenience is delivered to us with a pretty high price tag. Depending on the area you live in, tap water can cost 1000 times less than bottled water. Whichever way you choose to analyse the numbers, bottled water is markedly more expensive than tap. However, most of those who are in favour of bottled water argue that the price of bottled water is the price you have to pay for the convenience it offers.
A domain in which bottled water fails miserably is its effect on the environment, which is of devastating proportions. According to the Ban the Bottle organisation, 17 million barrels of oil are used up annually to manufacture plastic bottles that meet the US’s demands for bottled water. This much oil can fuel 1.3 million cars for a year, but even more worrying is the fact that the recycling rate for plastic is only 23%. The rest of otherwise recyclable bottles end up in landfills or make their way into oceans and lakes. Tap water on the other hand is not such a burden on the environment. Of course, one could argue that tap water may not be as safe as bottled water. Although safety has long been a buzzword of bottled water companies, studies that looked under the cap have revealed that bottled water is not without its risks, which may stem from pollutants getting into the source, or toxic substances leaching from the plastic packaging of water may also pose problems.
Safety concerns associated with tap water can be easily solved with the help of a water filter system. Thanks to the developments in water filtration, today’s water filters can remove all kinds of harmful substances from your tap water, leaving you with healthy filtered water. The costs of filtered water? Even with the initial purchase costs plus the annual maintenance costs tap water in its filtered form still costs less than bottled water.