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Why Bottled Water Is Bad For You & The World + What To Do About It

Mike Del Ponte
May 12, 2014
Image by Yaroslav Danylchenko / Stocksy
May 12, 2014

There’s no denying our addiction to plastic beverage bottles. They're convenient, and they're ubiquitous. Over the span of just forty years, our use of plastic bottles has grown exponentially. We now consume over thirty gallons of bottled water per year. Our addiction is fueled by three myths about bottled water.

1. Bottled water is healthier than tap water.

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Words like "pure," and 'spring" lead many of us to guzzle bottled water, thinking that we’re filling our bodies with healthier water than we find coming out of our taps. In fact, Think Outside the Bottle states that two of the world’s biggest bottlers, Nestle's PureLife and Pepsi's Aquafina, have admitted that their bottled water is sourced from the tap. The FDA only regulates bottled water that is sold across state lines. The rest remains unregulated and put under less rigorous testing than many municipal sources.

2. Bottled water tastes better than tap water.

When is the last time you tasted your tap water? My bet is, it actually tastes much better than the bottle in your hand. In fact, it might actually be the same exact water. If you think that the shiny plastic holding your water is somehow making the water taste better, think again. Many plastic bottles contain harmful chemicals like BPA, which leach into water and can lead to hormonal imbalances, brain damage, and reproductive complications.

3. Bottled water is more convenient than tap water.

We all know the drill. You’re rushing on your morning commute and stop at a bodega for a cold bottle of water. You’re at the gym and you forgot your water bottle, so you clench your teeth as you pay $2 for a plastic bottle of water. We’re constantly in motion, and bottled water seems to be much more convenient than waiting thirty seconds at your sink while you fill a reusable bottle. Take a moment to recognize the environmental and monetary costs of bottled water by checking out this infographic.

What can you do? Here are three easy ways to ditch your addiction to plastic water bottles.

1. Buy a BPA free, reusable water bottle.

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Save money by buying a reusable water bottle, and fill up at the tap. BPA free plastics are now affordable and accessible. Better yet? Get a glass bottle and go totally plastic-free.

2. Find out what’s in your water (and filter it out!).

Many U.S. municipal water sources contain high levels of harmful chemicals. Make sure you know how safe your water is, and purchase a filter to ensure you’re drinking the best water possible. Check out this infographic to find out what’s in your city’s drinking water.

3. Make the pledge to ditch plastic.

On March 4th, San Francisco became the first major city in the U.S. to ban the sale of plastic water bottles on public property. This move signals a strong step forward in an effort to reduce waste from a billion-dollar industry. Contact your local government and advocate for a ban on the sale of plastic water bottles.

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Mike Del Ponte
Mike Del Ponte

Mike Del Ponte is the co-founder and Chief Hydration Officer of SOMA, maker of the beautifully designed, glass water filter.

Soma exists to create a healthier, happier world through sustainable design. Soma uses coconut shell filters to deliver the purest tasting water. For every filter sold, Soma donates clean drinking water to people in need.