We all want to drink water that's so pure it must have come from a mountain spring in Narnia where enchanted pixies wash off magical dust off unicorns or whatever. Unfortunately, life doesn't work that way and all the pixies have been outsourced. As it is, some of us become disillusioned about the quality of their tap water (not unreasonable if you follow events in the US) and elect to drink only bottled water. That is a surefire way to avoid shitting yourself dead, right?
Well, maybe not. While drinking bottled water might make you look like you just came out of a lifestyle advertisement showing active young people, there are serious downsides to going bottles. And we're talking major-health-issue scale problems. Don't believe us? Read ahead and throw that bottle away (into the recycling bin, of course).
If your bottled water tastes like plastic, it's not just you being an overly sensitive wuss (though that doesn't help). According to NPR, plastic containers may leach chemicals into their contents, contaminating them. BPA is the scariest one, since it acts like a hormone and can impact the brain development of babies. You might have heard about the BPA scare, but even plastics labeled BPA-free can contain other scary compounds.
Bottled tap water
So you don't want to drink tap water because you read the news and you don't want lead poisoning. Unfortunately, not all bottled water comes from heavenly fountains of pure crystalline water. Research by TODAY shows that up to 25% of bottled water is just tap water. So yeah, you're just paying for the privilege to drink... what you would drink anyways.
Depending on where you live (especially in the US), tap water has to meet all sorts of regulations. Bottled water? Not so much. This lack of oversight means that bottled water can be totally worse than tap water. However, it has better marketing!
No Proven Benefits
Bottled water is not more healthy. A four-year NDRC review of the safety of the water industry found no evidence of bottled water being in any way better or healthier.
Killing the environment
Water bottle production consumes 17 million barrels of oil a year, Pacific Institute claims. So there's a load of non-renewable resources spent producing stuff that isn't really necessary.
Landfills of Bottles
Those 17 million barrels of oil inadvertently end up in a dump! The Water Project claim that there 2 million tons of PET (the plastic used for those thin, clear bottles) plastic water bottles in US landfills. However, while PET bottles can be recycled, only one in five is ever thrown away in the recycling bin. The other go into landfills, where they will annoy archeologists up to 450 years in the future.
Just buy a re-usable canteen and wash it often.
Bottled Water Is Expensive, Yo
Tap water is near damn free in comparison to bottled. Food & Water Watch shows that bottled water can cost from 89 cents to $8.26 a gallon. A gallon of tap water costs less than a penny... and doesn't use up precious oil... and doesn't end up in landfills.
Wasting water to bottle water
Plastic needs a lot of water to produce: NPR estimates you need about six to seven bottles worth of water to even make a bottle. Buying a canteen only takes several bucks to make you a badass.
Tap water is super safe
Like we mentioned, there are regulations that hound water companies and make them give you actually good drinkable water. You have filtration systems and whatnot working all the time to purify the clear liquid that flows from your tap.