You are probably familiar with how food establishments have stopped or begun to stop using styrofoam containers for food purchases and left overs. It’s well known that styrofoam takes hundreds of years to biodegrade and is responsible for filling up our landfills. However, the connection between plastic water bottles and the negative effect on the environment seems to be downplayed. Somehow the accessibility of these bottles continue to trump environmental concerns and the irresponsible behavior of these companies. Plastic water bottles should be treated the same way as styrofoam and their use should be phased out in countries with clean, safe drinking water.
When plastic breaks down it produces gases and liquids that contaminate the Earth’s soil and water. Plastics and styrofoam are already contaminating the Earth’s oceans and only about a third of plastic bottles are actually being recycled in the US. Equally troubling is that the largest profiteers from water such as Nestle, Dasani, and Poland Springs (owned by Nestle) and other companies that package single-use bottles are not concerned with the future of the planet, only profits. Watch the documentary “Tapped” to take a deeper dive into the world of the bottled water industry.
Bottled water is NOT healthier than tap water in fact most bottled water IS tap water. Do we need to keep polluting the planet and wasting money as consumers when a sustainable option is available? The positive note is that certain city governments have already prohibited the use of bottled water at public events. Here in San Francisco, if you attend a city permitted event it is BYOB “Bring Your Own (Water) Bottle.” It’s a great start but there is much more to do including becoming knowledgeable about who controls the bottled water industry and changing habits to include drinking from reusable bottles.
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SLN’s Take Home Message
If you are concerned with the environment and live in a country with clean, safe drinking water, then you should not be drinking from water bottles. Stop drinking bottled water now and elevate this issue to your representative and local businesses. Here are few ways to nix the plastic bottle.
- Buy a reusable water bottle (see below for SLN’s favorite reusable water bottle)
- Install a filter on your tap and your refrigerator. Click here for EWG’s buying guide for the best filters. Read about what chemicals these filters protect you from by reading Sociopathic Traits of Endocrine Disrupters
- Write a letter to an establishment where you would like them to stop selling plastic water bottles