According to my research in Food & Water Watch’s publication, “Take Back the Tap” (www.fwwatch.org), Clean Water for North Carolina’s information, and the Web site www.thinkoutsidethebottle.org, you may want to consider the following before you buy that next plastic bottle of water:
• On average, bottled water costs 900 times the amount of tap water.
• This year, Americans will spend $40 billion on bottled waters. Just $30 billion would bring clean water to everyone in the world.
• Over 25 percent of all bottled water is processed tap water.
• Tap-water regulation has stronger governmental standards than bottled water regulation. Only 30 percent of bottled water is tested routinely.
• Contaminants including carcinogens, heavy metals, bacteria, industrial chemicals and pharmaceuticals have been found in 10 popular brands of bottled waters.
• The amount of oil needed to put one bottle of water in your hand would fill one-fourth of the bottle. Each liter of bottled water requires three liters to produce it.
• Ninety percent of used water bottles are not recycled.
• A few giant corporations are making billions, while residents’ wells are running dry in the communities where the water companies have bottling plants. Trash floating in the Pacific Ocean has formed an island twice the size of Texas; 90 percent of it is discarded plastic.
Do yourself and the planet a favor, and get a good filter for your tap and a reusable steel bottle. You’ll save a bundle of cash in the process!
— Cathy Holt