The Bottled Water Conundrum

The argument against bottled water is valid. There are other sources of water from which we can drink and whose quality may not be at all different from that of water in a plastic bottle. Then, there's the waste from the single-use container which just adds to our environmental problems. So what's the use of bottled water?

A single-use bottle of water is often held up as the defining example of a product that solves a nonexistent problem while simultaneously creating a new one. So it’s no wonder that some climate activists have scoffed at those who profess their sincere efforts against the carbon apocalypse while clutching a plastic bottle of Fiji water.
But let’s play devil’s advocate for a moment. Bottled water can be a literal lifesaver, and I don’t mean for irresponsible Klean Kanteen owners. Water is supposed to run from the tap unrestricted and nearly free of cost, and it’s also supposed to be safe to drink. For billions of people across many developing countries, this is not the case — and nor is it true for residents of an increasing number of municipalities in the U.S.

(Image credit: Steve Johnson/Unsplash)

The problem is the assumption that water infrastructure is safe. Sure in a world where the water comes out of the tap pure and clean bottled water doesn't make sense. When you live in arguably one of the most modern countries and the world and there are thosands of reports that cities are telling their citizens to boil their water, or use filters bottled water sounds like a viable backup because at least the bottled water is being regulated by a 3rd party.
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Water is water, but the delivery system varies. Which is better, 75-year-old lead pipes or a plastic bottle? To be honest, new pipes would be best, but profit plays a part. Good municipal water costs money, but that means taxes, and people have a problem with that. So instead, we voluntarily pay for plastic bottles. How does that make sense?
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Normally I drink ice cold tap water from a12 oz. glass soda bottles I've used for the last 7 years. I recently bought sparkling spring water, 12 x 18oz. I will make sure to place the empties where homeless people can find them.
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