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Tip: The bottled water scam



Do you want a tip? I give you a tip, a tip to get rich drink submarine sports cars, gold plated iPhone, just G Spirits (look it up).

Here’s what you do: the night before the recycling trucks come, just walk down your alley and rinse every plastic water bottle you can find from the bins. Wash them off if you’re so inclined, and then … wait, is anyone listening? No? OK Good. Then fill these bottles with tap water.

Now think of a name that exudes purity. Don’t be too cute. Don’t emulate Evian, because sooner or later customers will find out that Evian is only naively written backwards and they don’t like to be ridiculed like that.

Next, sell your bottled water for up to 2,000 times the cost of tap water! Maybe sell, if for even more, as there is a company that sells Norwegian “iceberg water”

; for $ 90 a bottle. Awesome, right?

And it’s not even illegal! It’s not even that unethical. How could it be? This is exactly what corporate paragons of virtue like Coca-Cola and PepsiCo did when they discovered the water didn’t have to come from natural sources.

Granted, they “filtered” their water first, but you can do the same thing by tapping a charcoal filter on your faucet.

And don’t worry that the competition is too tough. The world spent about $ 160 billion on these bottled waters in 2019, and the market is expected to grow to about $ 308 billion by 2025 on tap.

Blatherskite and Tommyrot

Most people drink bottled water for convenience, suspected health, or a combination of both. Yes, it’s handy, but make it clear: despite my dubious explanation of how to get into the bottled water business, bottled water is mostly made up of pure blatherskit, flapdoodle, tommyrot, or any other colorful word you prefer to To convey nonsense.

Eric Goldstein, co-director of the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), says, “… no one should think that bottled water is more regulated, better protected, or safer than tap water.”

In fact, the nonprofit Food & Water Watch reports that tap water is subjected to more tests than bottled water in the United States. Maybe that’s okay because more than 25% of the bottled water comes from the municipal water supply.

And while it’s true that some bottles of water come from springs, wells, and other pristine, virgin environments that are undoubtedly populated by fairies and elves, there’s really no way of knowing exactly what you’re getting in bottled water.

In one known case, water from a well near a hazardous waste dump was marketed as spring water. In another case, water advertised as pure Alaskan glacial water was simply water from Alaska’s public water system.

Some even contain phthalates, which are powerful endocrine disruptors that can potentially lead to fetuses with squirrel reproductive organs. Today most bottles are made of polyethylene terephthalate, which is identified by a 1 or PET or PETE on the bottom. These bottles are generally safe unless you store them in warm or hot temperatures, e.g. B. in the cup holder of your Honda on summer days.

Then they could leach chemicals like antimony into the water, which is a potentially toxic material. No one is entirely sure what the long-term effects these chemicals could have.

Then there is the problem of simple, not necessarily endocrine disrupting plastics in general. A 2018 study found that 93% of the bottles from 11 brands of bottled water bottled around the world showed signs of microplastic contamination, more than twice as much as in some tap waters.

When it comes to regulating bottled water in general, the big problem arises from the fact that while the EPA regulates tap water, the FDA monitors bottled water. However, FDA oversight does not apply to water that is bottled and sold in the same state, so more than 60 to 70% of the water is completely unregulated.

Of course, both organizations have had some financial relief lately anyway, so things are likely to be even worse than they were before.

Polyethylene terephthalate

What about taste?

Most people cannot tell whether they are drinking expensive bottled water or jus de jersey straight from the tap. A 2010 study found that most participants couldn’t tell the difference between six different mineral water bottles and six municipal tap waters (at least if the tap waters were chlorine-free).

And even if your tap water doesn’t taste as good as some bottled water, that doesn’t mean it is alleged contaminant. As mentioned earlier, it may contain chlorine or a higher mineral content.

recommendations

I understand that bottled water is a necessity at times. Flint, or Puerto Rico, or a disaster-stricken location can attest to this. For most of us, however, bottled water is a complete waste of money.

Buying a glass or metal canister or a canteen and reusing them make much more sense financially and sometimes healthily. Just make sure you wash that thing.

However, if you do choose to drink bottled water, keep it away from the heat and store it in your car on a hot day. Also, look for brands that have NSF (an independent third-party safety monitoring service) certifications or are affiliated with IBWA (International Bottled Water Association). You can check the label for NSF certification or label for NSF logo.

Related: Never do this with your bottled water

Related: Carrying around a jug of water is stupid

References

  1. Sherri Mason et al. “Synthetic Polymer Contamination in Bottled Water”, Front Chem, 2018; 6: 407.
  2. Eric Teillet et al. “Consumers’ Perceptions and Preferences of Bottled Water and Tap Water,” Journal of Sensory Studies, June 7, 2010.

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