I wanted to share this article I read in the Star with my readers today, as I think it highlights an important issue facing all Canadians. It’s also part o my series of thoughts on the environment and going green.
The Case Against Bottled Water
The article talks about people’s perceptions of tap water versus bottled water, and how it’s strange that Canada has one of the best water supplies in the world, yet our citizens are choosing to drink foreign bottled water instead.
It also mentions the downsides to drinking bottled water, such as the toxins leached from the plastic, the amount of oil it takes to produce the plastic bottles, and the fact that bottled water is not tested for safety and potability nearly as often as municipal water is.
“…according to Health Canada, there is no evidence to support the belief that bottled water is any safer than tap water. Indeed, if anything, our tap water may well be safer and healthier than bottled varieties.
The municipal water supply is more stringently tested than bottled water supplies. In Canada, the CBC reports that local water supplies are inspected every day while bottled-water plants are inspected just once every three years. In addition, according to MSN news, water-bottling plants are required to test for coliform bacteria just once a week whereas most municipal water systems test for the bacteria several times a day.”
My personal opinion is that we are drinking too much bottled water. I have recently switched from drinking bottled water to carrying my own bottle around with me. I have a stainless steel water bottle or two now, which are not only fashionable, but they also keep my water cold and icky-taste-free all day. The environment is also important to me, so by not drinking bottled water I am reducing a heck of a lot of stress on the global environment (transport costs, bottling costs, “stealing” another area’s drinking water).
“According to the Pacific Institute, the energy required to produce plastic water bottles for the American market alone in 2006 was equivalent to more than 17 million barrels of oil and created 2.5 million tons of carbon dioxide. Producing bottles consumes a huge amount of water too, with the Pacific Institute estimating it takes three litres of water to produce one litre of bottled water.”
However I still drink bottled water for the convenience factor, like when I’m out and about and there are no other options.
How do you feel about drinking bottled water? Do the risks and costs of it bother you, or do you still feel that municipal water is less clean or flavourful (-less)?