Bottled Water - an avoidable scam?

For years we've heard stories about the quality of bottled water, how much is it better than "ordinary" water from our taps while trotting a plastic bottle around has become a trendy accessory that defines our lifestyle.
Artificially created demand
Specifically,  it is interesting to look back and remember the time when selling bottled water started to become big business, especially in areas where there is no shortage of drinking water at all, and when tap water earned a bad rap from bottling companies.

For this reasons, we will return to 2010 and take a look at "The Story of Bottled Water" by Annie Leonard, a critic of excessive consumerism, best known for her project The Story of Stuff which is part of this video.  It shows how "artificially created demand promotes what we do not need and destroys what we need the most," which is the key message in the film.

The story begins in Cleveland where an advertising campaign by a bottling company Fiji ran the following billboard ads: "Fiji: Because it’s not bottled in Cleveland". The Cleveland citizens did not appreciate this jibe against their city and decided to put Fiji water through lab tests. The results were astonishing. The tap water was not only proven to be cheaper but also of a better quality. 
The Cleveland story is not an isolated case though, repeated tests in other metropolitan areas proved the same results because unlike tap water the bottled one does not go through the same scrutiny and extensive tests. The bottling companies claim that the large demand is driving their outrageous growth but why would anyone demand something that is unsustainable, harmful to the environment, is subjected to fewer tests, and in the end costs a lot more? To be precise it costs two thousand times more!

So how did the masses ‘buy’ into buying something which is basically free? The answer is simple - fear!

Bottled water industry embarked on a series of TV commercials that compelled the viewers to wonder what dangers are lurking from our taps.
"When we finish our mission, tap water will be used only for bathing and washing dishes," said the head of one CEO of bottled water company.
Customers are often lulled into a false belief that the bottled water comes from clean sources, but that is far from the truth. The ‘exotic’ locations is your faucet, it gets filtered a couple of times (at best), bottled and then sold to us at an exorbitant markup.

It is worth mentioning that the survey conducted by the EWG's (Environmental Working Group) showed that nine out of 10 manufacturers (Aquafina, Dasani, Nestle) do not want to disclose information about their "clean" sources of water, which is quite telling to say the least.
Secondly, their study found that of 173 brands: 18% refused to disclose the location of their water sources, 32% did not say anything about testing the purity of their product, while 50% failed the transparency test.

Tap water - the greatest enemy?
Environmentally, bottled water is an absolute disaster. It requires huge amounts of oil to produce, bottle, and transport the product to the stores. The ensuing waste is another environmental issue which is often overlooked; the used bottles end up in landfills or are incinerated, which leads to the release of deadly gases. Furthermore, much of the bottles, which are recycled in America, end up in India, where they create "mountains" of waste as an entirely new problem.
There are some parts of the world that have really bad tap water, but the responsibility for this also lies with the producers of plastic bottles and harmful substances produced in the process .

Finally, the story of environmental pollution may not affect you in the least and no one can stop you from buying bottled water, even though the one you have in your house or apartment is far better, but the fact remains that you pay dearly for something you do not really need.


  1. Very interesting blog.I really love this video.I suggest for this site my every friends.Thanks


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