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Friday, 3 June 2011

The Truth About Bottled Water!


Well I am an enthusiastic drinker of liquids, which of course includes water, ever since I read that it was a 'healthy thing to do'. During my time in the UK, I have spent a lot of money on bottled water without much of a thought, until I came across this article online and thought it made sense, what do you think?

Imagine you’ve just been given a choice: You have to drink from one of two containers. One container is a cup from your own kitchen, and it contains a product that has passed strict state, federal and local guidelines for cleanliness and quality. Oh, and it’s free. The second container comes from a manufacturing plant somewhere, and its contents—while seemingly identical to your first choice—have not been subjected to the same strict national and local standards. It costs approximately four times more than gasoline. These products both look and taste nearly identical.

Which do you choose?

If you chose beverage A, congratulations: You just saved yourself a whole lot of money, and, perhaps, even contaminants, too. But if you picked beverage B, then you’ll be spending hundreds of unnecessary dollars on bottled water this year. Sure, bottled water is convenient, trendy, and may well be just as pure as what comes out of your tap. But it’s hardly a smart investment for your pocketbook, your body or our planet. Eat This, Not That! decided to take a closer look at what’s behind the pristine images and elegant-sounding names printed on those bottles.

You may actually be drinking tap water.
Case in point: Dasani, a Coca-Cola product. Despite its exotic-sounding name, Dasani is simply purified tap water that’s had minerals added back in. For example, if your Dasani water was bottled at the Coca-Cola Bottling Company in Philadelphia, you’re drinking Philly tap water. But it’s not the only brand of water that relies on city pipes to provide its product. About 25 percent of all bottled water is taken from municipal water sources, including Pepsi’s Aquafina.

Bottled water isn’t always pure.
Scan the labels of the leading brands and you see variations on the words “pure” and “natural” and “pristine” over and over again. And when a Cornell University marketing class studied consumer perceptions of bottled water, they found that people thought it was cleaner, with less bacteria. But that may not actually be true. For example, in a 4-year review that included the testing of 1,000 bottles of water, the Natural Resources Defense Council—one the country’s most ardent environmental crusaders—found that “about 22 percent of the brands we tested contained, in at least one sample, chemical contaminants at levels above strict state health limits.”

It’s not clear where the plastic container ends and the drink begins.
Turns out, when certain plastics are heated at a high temperature, chemicals from the plastics may leach into container’s contents. So there’s been a flurry of speculation recently as to whether the amounts of these chemicals are actually harmful, and whether this is even a concern when it comes to water bottles—which aren’t likely to be placed in boiling water or even a microwave. While the jury is still out on realistic health ramifications, it seems that, yes, small amounts of chemicals from PET water bottles such as antimony—a semi-metal that’s thought to be toxic in large doses—can accumulate the longer bottled water is stored in a hot environment. Which, of course, is probably a good reason to avoid storing bottled water in your garage for six months—or better yet, to just reach for tap instead.

Our country’s high demand for oil isn’t just due to long commutes.

Most water bottles are composed of a plastic called polyethylene terepthalate (PET). Now, to make PET, you need crude oil. Specifically, 17 million barrels of oil are used in the production of PET water bottles ever year, estimate University of Louisville scientists. No wonder the per ounce cost of bottled water rivals that of gasoline. What’s more, 86 percent of 30 billion PET water bottles sold annually are tossed in the trash, instead of being recycled, according to data from the Container Recycling Institute. That’s a lot of waste—waste that will outlive you, your children, and your children’s children. You see, PET bottles take 400 to 1000 years to degrade. Which begs the question: If our current rate of consumption continues, where will we put all of this discarded plastic?

To learn more go to



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Anonymous said...

Thank you for this enlightenment... me think i would send it to my friend chima if she won't yab me for it..hehehehe...i don't take bottled water..i drink directly from the tap and buy sachet pure water on the road when's the 'mentality' that had been imbibed in us for a long time..and in a place like 9ja that the water pipes are contaminated with the gutter water due to leaks in the old corrosive pipes, it's few that boil before drinking or buy bottled water or bags of sachet pure water... BUT SOME people that take bottled water or boil their water still suffer from typhoid fever regularly, which got to proof that THE WATER AIN'T STILL PURE!

Unknown said...

My dear, here in Naija, our pipes run in gutters so the water may not be pure at all. People have boreholes and treat them to get clean water. Some people who sell bottled and satchet water here just take water from 'not so clean' wells and sell to the public.
Insightful post

Ginger said...

This bottled water hype here...sometimes i think its more of a status thing than that the consumers actually believe it is purer. I can understand tha attitude in Nigeria cause the public water supply cant be trusted but in the UK...hype jare

Miss M said...

I hear you Mena and i agree with you but in Naija, we do not have much of a choice. At least you are sure of the NAFDAC number on bottled water unlike pure water. Besides when i was much younger we used to boil and filter all our drinking water but i'd still see particles which was what freaked me out completely on boiling and the like. At least with some trusted bottled water, i don't 'see' particles and it has no taste which helps my general paranoia. I have had typhoid before and it was the most fearsome and worst time in the history of me. I no wan die abeg and if i have to spend a few more nairas for my peace of mind and sanity, so be it.
But if anyone has any better idea what to do as per naija sourced tap water as against bottled water, please inform us oh

Mena UkodoisReady said...

Thanks ladies

@Ibhade: thank you for visiting and for the comment.

When in Nigeria, I drink both boiled and from the tap o especially when better sun hit me!

@Ginger: LOL, it sells on real HYPE. Evian water reads as Naive! ehen. LOL thank you

@Lily& Wise Sage: Thanks for that point about purewater& Nafdac.I hope they are still honest with their mission.I appreciate

Muse Origins said...

Interesting! Now this is informative. So even bottled water may just be tap water? :(


Efua Dentaa said...

So in Ghana, we have hawkers on the streets that sell sachet pure water and in a bid to win over bougie bottle water drinkers, they added bottled water to their goods.
The catch was these hawkers picked up used bottles, filled with tap/sachet pure water (depending on their mood), used glue to seal the cap and sold.
Fortunately, some bottled water producers have picked up on this and now Voltic (one of the purified water producers in Ghana) has added another security feature. Their bottles, aside the caps being sealed, are also sealed with a plastic wrapping.
I don't know but I get the feeling that these hawkers will find a way around that too.