Bottled water has long been put on a pedestal by bottled water companies for being a fresher, tastier, safer and healthier alternative to tap water. While some of these claims may be true, other claims associated with bottled water are unsubstantiated. Crowned as the best-selling soft drink in the world, unfortunately, bottled water is not all that it’s cracked up to be.
There is an overwhelming consensus among clean water advocates and environmentalist groups that bottled water is becoming a worrying aspect of our lives that is not only a higher burden on our budgets, but it’s also an undeniable burden on the environment. So how does bottled water fare compared to tap water, and why should you dismiss the ideas bottled water companies keep on pitching to their customers about bottled water?
The case against bottled water
For starters, bottled water is not fresher than tap. The visually compelling imagery water companies use to make you believe bottled water is sourced from extra-pure springs untouched by pollution is sometimes just a well thought out marketing ploy. Many big-name bottled water companies have been forced to come forward and admit that their fresh spring water, is in fact, filtered tap water with an eye candy packaging and an unmistakably high price tag. Add the fact that bottled water can stay in warehouses and on the shelves of supermarkets for weeks or even months on end, and the freshness argument is no longer valid.
On the face of it, bottled water may have the higher ground in the safety department even if it’s just re-branded tap water. The fact that it may have gone through an extra layer of filtration does indeed make it sound safer until you start considering that it’s stored in plastic, and BPA leeching into the water can simply undermine the health claims associated with bottled water.
Bottled water is undoubtedly convenient – it’s everywhere, it’s varied, it comes in many shapes and sizes, and flavors even (sparkling, flat, semi-sparkling, etc.). It’s easy to take it with you, and it does give people a – sometimes false – sense that it’s safer. But tap water is just as convenient and much cheaper than bottled water. Tap water goes through a lot of scrutiny in terms of water quality and safety test carried out by water authorities, something that cannot be said by bottled water, which is not held to such high standards as tap water is.
The case for filtered tap water
Tap water has its downsides as well – it’s chlorinated, in some places it’s even fluoridated, it can contain sediments, bacteria and other types of contaminants. But it’s regulated, monitored, and much more affordable. Plus, it’s not an environmental hazard.
Filtered tap water, on the other hand, is safe, convenient, and fresh. Filtering tap water will actually help you accomplish all that bottled water companies are trying to sell you with respect to bottled water. Filtered water gets the best of two worlds – it borrows from the affordability of tap water, it lives up to the safety claims associated with bottled water, and it’s not as damaging to the environment as bottled water is.