Comparing Bottled Water and Tap Water

1973 Words8 Pages
In recent years the arguments against the bottled water industry have become much more prevalent, as well as prominent in the arena of social and political debate. Those who argue in favor of bottled water cite convenience and health among their number one reasons. Those opposed the promulgation of the purchase and consumption of bottled water cite that it is in fact, less stringently regulated and tested for impurities than tap water, these opponents also claim that bottled waters’ environmental toll far outweighs the positives in regard to convenience. So what exactly are the facts? Bottled water is obviously more convenient, but is it safer? Although some of the public water supplies in America, from which…show more content…
Globally bottled water is a $60 – billion-a-year business” (Royte 6). These numbers are astronomical, particularly in light of the fact that bottled costs between 240 to 10,000 times more than tap water. On the low end, this would be the equivalent of paying $1500 for a $5 sandwich. Safety and cost are not the only issues standing in opposition to the bottled water industry. There is a definitive strain placed upon our environmental resources in every stage of the lifecycle of a bottle of water, the first one being oil. It takes 17 million barrels of oil each year to make water bottles for the US market. That is enough oil to fuel 1.3 million cars for a year. Of course this pales in comparison to the total amount of oil Americans consume each day, 20 million barrels. But, it also does not take into account the vast amounts of energy expended to fill the water bottles as well as transport them to consumers. “Every week, a billion bottles snake through the country on tens of thousands of trucks trains and ships. (In 2007 Poland Spring alone burned 928,226 gallons of diesel fuel)” (Royte 139). Peter Gleick of the Pacific Institute estimates that the amount of oil needed to produce, transport, and dispose of each bottle of water would be, on average, the equivalent to filling each bottle half way with oil, a fact which
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