Bottled Water Costs Consumers and the Environment
Today, bottled water is the choice beverage for many people. With clever marketing by commercial water companies, bottled water is deemed ultra-hygienic, “untouched” and natural. Bottled water consumption is astoundingly high and still rising. 41 billion gallons of bottled water are consumed every year around the world. In Elizabeth Royte’s book Bottlemania: How Water Went on Sale and Why We Bought It, it says that Americans alone use about 1 billion bottles of water a week, or 97 billion gallons each year! China is a close second, with an annual consumption of up to 7.7 billion gallons.
“Bottled water may be an industry winner, but it’s an environmental loser,” Ling Li, fellow with World Watch Institute’s China Program
There are many problems with bottled water, but the most obvious is the fact that you’re paying a lot more compared to the same amount of tap water.
1) Bottled water is very expensive
Bottled water is more expensive than petroleum, and cost 1,600% the price of Singapore’s PUB tap water.
To understand how expensive bottle water is, let’s compare it to petrol. In Singapore, petrol prices are very high at around $1.80 per litre. Yet a litre of bottled water is priced at about $2.40. A full tank of petrol would cost you about $102. If you wanted to fill up that same 15-gallon car tank with bottled water, it would cost you $136!
Comparing with tap water which costs about $0.15 per litre, we are paying about 1,600% the price of regular tap water for the equivalent amount of bottled water! The US Environmental Working Group recommends the public to drink filtered tap water instead. It is cheaper and helps to reduce the global glut of discarded plastic bottles.
2) Bottled water is wasteful
Bottled water is also destructive to the environment considering the staggering amount of waste generated from discarded plastic bottles. Over 60 million water bottles are thrown away each day and only about 10% of these are recycled. The rest of the empty plastic bottles end up in our landfills, lakes, streams and oceans, where they may never fully decompose.
Bottled water waste fossil fuels in production and transport. According to Food and Water Watch, the plastic requires up to 47 million gallons of oil per year to produce, enough to fuel more than a million cars for a year. Eliminating those bottles would be like taking 100,000 cars off the road and 1 billion pounds of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. 
3) Bottled Water is neither safer nor healthier
And if you think water that comes in a bottle is automatically pure, you are going to be disappointed. Many water bottling companies do not disclose their source or purification methods. An independent test performed by the US Environmental Working Group disclosed a total of 38 chemical pollutants in 10 popular brands of bottled water. The contaminants include disinfection byproducts (DBPs), caffeine, Tylenol, nitrate, industrial chemicals, arsenic, and bacteria. 
The plastic used to make water bottles often contains chemicals like BPA and phthalates, which are gender-bending, hormone mimicking compounds. These leach from the bottle into the water and then into your body when you consume it. If you leave your water bottle in a hot car or reuse it, your exposure is magnified because heat and stress increase the amount of chemicals that leach out of the plastic. This is concerning because chemicals from plastics even in small concentrations can cause problems such as hyperactivity, increased fat formation, abnormal sexual behaviours, disrupted reproductive cycle and decreased sperm production.
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 Food & Water Watch, Climate Change Conference Goes Bottled Water Free, But Could do More To Address Water Scarcity Issues, Available:http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/blogs/climate-change-conference-goes-bottled-water-free-but-could-do-more-to-address-water-scarcity-issues/
 2011 Bottled Water Scorecard by Environmental Working Group Study authors: Nneka Leiba, MPH, Analyst Sean Gray, MS, Senior Analyst Jane Houlihan, MSCE, Senior VP for Research http://static.ewg.org/reports/2010/bottledwater2010/pdf/2011-bottledwater-scorecard-report.pdf
 Bottled water contains disinfection byproducts, fertilizer residue, and pain medication by Olga Naidenko, PhD, Senior Scientist; Nneka Leiba, MPH, Researcher; Renee Sharp, MS, Senior Scientist; Jane Houlihan, MSCE, Vice President for Research