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March 11, 2011

Pure Planet Racing: Bottled Water

Super interesting video and something we should all be considering. Bottled water is a big problem affecting us every day. At Nedbank, you cannot get a single bottle of water anywhere. They are cleaning up their act as part of their initiatives to leave less of a footprint on the environment. My mate Dax had this to say about bottled water, something he is truly passionate about:

Ok, I’m back and I’ve done my research. There is quite a lot of info on the Internet as usual, just type in “bottled water environment bad” and you’ll have enough reading material to keep you entertained the whole long weekend (I love long weekends by the way). I’m going to summarize the important points for you. If you want more info, do your own research.

So, I think we are all aware that in the last few years, bottled water has become quite popular in South Africa. The reasons people give is that it’s purer (therefore healthier) and tastes better than tap water. The other reason which few people would admit to is that it makes you look cooler and wealthier if you spurn tap water. If you want to look cool at the cost of the environment, then I guess that’s your choice. If you don’t drink tap water here because you think it tastes bad then, I guess that’s your taste. Although I don’t believe you for a second because the water here tastes great. I’ve drunk the tap water in many countries and our water is the best I’ve had. Incidentally the water in Spain tastes so bad that I only drank bottled water when there.

However, if you drink bottled water because you think it’s healthier, then read on. In 1997, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization concluded that bottled water does not have greater nutritional value than tap water. That’s assuming the water is actually from a natural source because another study found that approximately 40% of bottled water is tap water, some of which has been treated further (Bonaqua anyone?). There is no way of knowing where the water comes from and what has been done to it because bottled water in SA is not regulated.

In addition, if the water is in plastic bottles for a long time, it can absorb harmful things with funny names from the plastic and they can give you cancer and other problems. How long do you think water (especially imported) sits around on trucks and in warehouses and on the supermarket shelf?

Ok, so what is the environmental impact of consuming bottled water? MILLIONS of tons of plastic pollution which takes up to 1000 years to biodegrade. Large scale consumption of fossil fuels to make the plastic bottles, large scale consumption of fossil fuels to transport them (a large percentage of water is drunk outside the country it was bottled in) and large scale depletion of water reserves which serve a purpose in sensitive ecology webs.

I think the best option is to get a good quality water filter and drink filtered tap water. Think about it.

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I read this article as well which states that it takes up to 7 times as much water to transport the water in a bottle, so if you buy a imported (the calculation is on imported water) 1.5 liter, it took 10.5 Liters of water to transport that liter to where you bought it. That freaked me out a little, really.

There are times when it’s virtually impossible to drink bottled water but with a little more preparation you should be able to cut out bottled water from your lives and collectively, as is the case with anything to do with helping our environment, we can make a difference. Take the 2 extra minutes and use a water filter. Stop using bottles not only for the plastic waste, but for the actual waste of water is it.

Have a great weekend out there.

One Comment on “Pure Planet Racing: Bottled Water

Ronel
March 13, 2011 at 11:05 pm

Quite right – keep the big picture in mind

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