Uncapping Big Bottled Water's War On Tap Water
Start writing a post

Uncapping Big Bottled Water's War On Tap Water

Propaganda fueled consumers globally to turn off their taps.

Uncapping Big Bottled Water's War On Tap Water
Whiteman Air Force Base

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.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Robert Bye on Unsplash

I live by New York City and I am so excited for all of the summer adventures.

Keep Reading... Show less

The invention of photography

The history of photography is the recount of inventions, scientific discoveries and technical improvements that allowed human beings to capture an image on a photosensitive surface for the first time, using light and certain chemical elements that react with it.


The history of photography is the recount of inventions, scientific discoveries and technical improvements that allowed human beings to capture an image on a photosensitive surface for the first time, using light and certain chemical elements that react with it.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Exposing Kids To Nature Is The Best Way To Get Their Creative Juices Flowing

Constantly introducing young children to the magical works of nature will further increase the willingness to engage in playful activities as well as broaden their interactions with their peers


Whenever you are feeling low and anxious, just simply GO OUTSIDE and embrace nature! According to a new research study published in Frontiers in Psychology, being connected to nature and physically touching animals and flowers enable children to be happier and altruistic in nature. Not only does nature exert a bountiful force on adults, but it also serves as a therapeutic antidote to children, especially during their developmental years.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

5 Simple Ways To Give Yourself Grace, Especially When Life Gets Hard

Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we are becoming.

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

If there's one thing I'm absolutely terrible at, it's giving myself grace. I'm easily my own worst critic in almost everything that I do. I'm a raging perfectionist, and I have unrealistic expectations for myself at times. I can remember simple errors I made years ago, and I still hold on to them. The biggest thing I'm trying to work on is giving myself grace. I've realized that when I don't give myself grace, I miss out on being human. Even more so, I've realized that in order to give grace to others, I need to learn how to give grace to myself, too. So often, we let perfection dominate our lives without even realizing it. I've decided to change that in my own life, and I hope you'll consider doing that, too. Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we're becoming. As you read through these five affirmations and ways to give yourself grace, I hope you'll take them in. Read them. Write them down. Think about them. Most of all, I hope you'll use them to encourage yourself and realize that you are never alone and you always have the power to change your story.

Keep Reading... Show less

Breaking Down The Beginning, Middle, And End of Netflix's Newest 'To All The Boys' Movie

Noah Centineo and Lana Condor are back with the third and final installment of the "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" series


Were all teenagers and twenty-somethings bingeing the latest "To All The Boys: Always and Forever" last night with all of their friends on their basement TV? Nope? Just me? Oh, how I doubt that.

I have been excited for this movie ever since I saw the NYC skyline in the trailer that was released earlier this year. I'm a sucker for any movie or TV show that takes place in the Big Apple.

Keep Reading... Show less

4 Ways To Own Your Story, Because Every Bit Of It Is Worth Celebrating

I hope that you don't let your current chapter stop you from pursuing the rest of your story.

Photo by Manny Moreno on Unsplash

Every single one of us has a story.

I don't say that to be cliché. I don't say that to give you a false sense of encouragement. I say that to be honest. I say that to be real.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

How Young Feminists Can Understand And Subvert The Internalized Male Gaze

Women's self-commodification, applied through oppression and permission, is an elusive yet sexist characteristic of a laissez-faire society, where women solely exist to be consumed. (P.S. justice for Megan Fox)

Paramount Pictures

Within various theories of social science and visual media, academics present the male gaze as a nebulous idea during their headache-inducing meta-discussions. However, the internalized male gaze is a reality, which is present to most people who identify as women. As we mature, we experience realizations of the perpetual male gaze.

Keep Reading... Show less

It's Important To Remind Yourself To Be Open-Minded And Embrace All Life Has To Offer

Why should you be open-minded when it is so easy to be close-minded?


Open-mindedness. It is something we all need a reminder of some days. Whether it's in regards to politics, religion, everyday life, or rarities in life, it is crucial to be open-minded. I want to encourage everyone to look at something with an unbiased and unfazed point of view. I oftentimes struggle with this myself.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments