“Water- a bequest of nature” bases all innovations in curbing water crisis to make our blue planet green and sustainable.
Recently, Jennifer Aniston stunned the world with her ethereal beauty while promoting Smart Water, as an obviously ‘smarter’ choice for a healthier lifestyle - both hers and everyone else's.
What is ironic, however, is the fact that this campaign has successfully packaged a notion as absurd as the concept of packaged water as a healthy, and dandy lifestyle choice. But, this is not something unseen. You say ‘bottled water’, and the masses will chime in with ‘healthier and better’.
Even as some of us might choose tap water over bottled water when given a choice, majority will rather stick with the clear plastic bottles promising us the premium taste of natural, fresh and more often than not, ‘enriched’ water right from the lap of the pristine valleys and springs of the Alps or the Himalayas or whatever that trips your trigger. Today, we will unveil why packaged or bottled water should not be a part of your lifestyle and even less so of your shopping list, if you give even one rusty dime about the environment.
What exactly makes you shell out your money on packaged water? The idea that the water you are buying is healthier and more nourishing than the lowly tap water available even to peasants. Well, consider this, According to a study conducted (carried out in 2013, updated in May 2016) by Antae Group for International Bottled Water Association, it was found that to produce one liter of bottled water, a facility utilized 1.32 liter of tap water. 320 ml doesn’t seem like much though, does it?
While we could say it doesn’t, we can’t ignore the fact that approximately 35 bn water bottles were sold in 2016 in the USA alone (source). Considering how the advent of on-the-go culture in developing nations like China, India, Thailand etc. is boosting the demands, the number will quite expectedly, be reaching the sky.
Now, let’s do the math. Up scaling 320 ml tap water lost per one liter bottled water for 35 bn liter of bottled water, brings us to staggering 11.2 bn liter of tap water lost in the process, in the USA, alone. 11.2 bn liter tap water, which is fit for human consumption, lost for packaged water which isn’t much different from tap water and does not add any value in terms of nutritional or health benefits. Also, you buy this bottled water at a cost approximately ten to twenty times higher than what tap water costs. (The cost difference is particular to where you live and may vary accordingly by we’d say the base difference of ten times higher is big enough a difference.) Yeah, let that sink in. Now, let’s zoom out to the bigger picture. We don’t just lose water in producing packaged water; we also produce plastic waste, use infrastructure capacity to produce the bottles and process the water through various stages and hence incur fuel and electricity overheads. There, there! Don’t be overwhelmed just yet! Wait till we discuss each of the health issues associated with the bottled water. PET, which is used in plastic water bottles is non-biodegradable which means preserving poison forever in the landfills. Even landfills are not immune to risk as the Cadmium and lead in landfills leak into rain water and drain into water bodies which in turn end up in sea foods. PET also leaves residues of endocrine disruptors linked to cancer in the water when left in heat for a long time. Most people assume that recycling PET will prevent us from its ills but the fact remains that recycling a toxin lead to more toxins in the environment. Long story cut short, Bottled water is a convenience which is too expensive for our health, environment and water availability.
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