Uncapping Big Bottled Water's War On Tap Water

Uncapping Big Bottled Water's War On Tap Water

Propaganda fueled consumers globally to turn off their taps.

Whether it's out of convenience or habit, many of us instinctively reach for bottled water instead of tap. What caused us to turn our backs on the kitchen sink or public drinking fountains? Bottled water companies insisting tap water is unsafe, and large bottled water companies like Pepsi, Coca Cola and Nestle have been on a smear campaign against tap water for decades. Their goal? Make consumers fear their tap water, and they'll have to turn to the bottle. "When we're done," Quaker Oats' U.S. beverage division president Susan Wellington said, "tap water will be relegated to showers and washing dishes."

"The biggest enemy is tap" — Pepsi's Vice Chairman, Robert S. Morrison.

The attacks on tap water worked. Bottled water has surpassed all other bottled beverages in consumption, including alcohol, sodas and juices. Consumers in the United States alone drink half a billion bottles a week. If all those bottles were lined up, it would be enough to circle the globe five times.

Is bottled water really safer than tap water? In some areas, yes. These are areas with little to no access to clean, safe drinking water. However, bottled water has weaker regulations under the FDA, while tap water is held to strict regulatory standards under the EPA, and sometimes that makes a big difference in quality as the people of Cleveland, Ohio uncovered.

Fiji created ads reading, "The label says Fiji because it's not bottled in Cleveland." Outraged, the citizens of Cleveland jumped to defend their water, putting Fiji water up against not only the city's tap water, but their other competitors Dasani, Aquafina and Evian. Studies found Fiji water contained 6.31 mircograms of arsenic per liter, while other waters tested contained no measurable amounts. The results spoke for themselves, and Fiji abandoned the Cleveland ad, defeated.

Fiji water, despite my previous beliefs, is truly bottled in Fiji. The bottles are decorated with tropical flowers, designed to aid in the company's image of clean water, untouched by man. Other companies have adopted this "clean green" look, including a variety of mountainous streams, remote islands, wildlife, leaves and snowy peaks.

These ads can be deceitful, giving the illusion of natural water supplies from remote areas. 33 percent of all bottled water is from the tap, and some of the brands might surprise you. Brands like Pepsi's Aquafina and Coca Cola's Dasani are both filtered tap water, the same tap water that's available in your kitchen sink.

If tap water is the 'enemy,' why is it being bottled and sold to us at almost 2,000 times the original cost?

Bottled water has a darker side. The production of plastic water bottles requires petroleum, so much that bottling water in the United States uses enough oil to fuel one million cars. Americans buy an estimated 42.6 billion single use bottles each year, and 80 percent of those bottles end up in incinerators or landfills.

Plastics (including the water bottle) do not decompose but break down into micro-plastics which can make their way into our oceans, streams and even food. Fish and birds alike have been found with stomachs full of plastic pieces, including water bottle caps. Plastic has a lifespan of no less than 500 years. That's not even a fraction of time spent in the hands of the consumer.

Bottled water can pose serious health threats outside of their environmental impact. Have you ever left plastic water bottles in a hot car? Chances are, the plastic encasing your water has leeched Bisphenol A, more commonly referred to as BPA.

Scientists around the globe have linked BPA to numerous health defects discovered in exposed rodents. Cancers, genital defects in males, early puberty development in females, obesity and even behavior problems such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have all been documented.

Water bottles may be convenient, but what is the true cost? Recycling your water bottles is a step in the right direction, but you can do more to help lessen the environmental impact of the bottled water industry. How can one person help? You can: stop buying single use bottles – instead buy a reusable bottle (take it to work, school and use it at home). You can also press representatives to fund public water maintenance and upkeep, start a group to boycott bottled water in your community and urge elected officials to install more drinking fountains or educate others on the bottled issue! Be the generation who makes a difference, one bottle at a time.

Cover Image Credit: Whiteman Air Force Base

Popular Right Now

I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it


Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Home Invader Suspected of Cleaning Up

In May 2019, a Massachusetts man is shocked to discover someone had broken into his house. But instead of stealing anything, they tidied up for him.


Imagine coming home after a longs days work to discover your door unlocked. This alone doesn't cause for immediate panic because often it's hard to remember if you even locked it that morning. As you warily enter the house, you are relieved to see your TV is still on the wall, and the computer is still sitting on your desk. When you take another step in, however, you start to feel this uneasy feeling, like someone had been in your house while you were gone.

You notice a smell of cleaning products in the air that you don't remember being there that morning, and to your shock, you see the bedroom door you always leave open, closed. Now is the time to panic. You search the house, calling out for the perpetrator to show themselves. Your children's rooms are immaculate: vacuumed, with clothes folded and beds made, and toilets scrubbed.

Someone has definitely been in your home for hours, pillaging through your intimate belongings, only they hadn't taken anything. The only thing they leave behind is eerie toilet paper origami roses, a staple of the US prison system.

Nate Roman's Facebook

Although this sounds like a funny sketch from a comedy show, this actually happened to Massachusetts man Nate Roman this May. Roman says in an interview with New York Post: "Growing up in the age we do, my first thought was a serial killer. My next thought was wondering if my son was safe, worrying if someone was still in the house."

Despite the ridiculousness of the crime, it is still a crime. The act of intruding upon someones home not to steal, but to acquaint oneself with the environment is almost creepier than a robbery. Just the thought of someone possibly getting off by touching your objects and lounging in your furniture is extremely off-putting.

The motive of this cleaning criminal is still unknown and he or she is at large. It's speculated it may have been a mistaken house tidied by a cleaning crew--but that seems less likely than a creep having a go in a home with an unlocked door.

Don't forget to lock your doors at night and when you leave in the morning and watch out for toilet paper roses.

Related Content

Facebook Comments