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The dangers of bottled water

01/22/2009

By Spencer Salinder
 
Bottled water is one of the most promoted drinks in the world. This beverage may be a luxury to those who drink it, but it is destroying the planet slowly but surely.

Many people don't know this because it is not properly placed on the labels of bottles, but bottled water is sometimes just municipal water filtered, treated and bottled up. Many people agree that drinking bottled water is safer than drinking tap water, but that is a lie.  

In recent studies the NRDC (National Resource Defense Counsel) tested 1,000 bottles of water and 103 different brands and found that approximately one-third of the water tested positive for contamination such as synthetic organic chemicals, bacteria and arsenic.

Also, economically speaking, buying bottled water is like giving extra money to the companies such as Coke, Pepsi, Evian, and many familiar bottled water companies. People in the United States spend from 240 to 10,000 times as much per gallon for bottled water than they usually do for tap water.

According to the Sierra Club Organization, in 2006, more than 900,000 tons of plastic was used to package 8 billion gallons of bottled water and one-quarter of a bottle full of oil is what is embedded in energy used to make each bottle. 

In recent years of bottled water the bottles have been made out of a plastic that is called PET which is known to be harmful and more toxic than most plastics used. PET stands for polyethylene terephthalate, which generates over 100 times more toxic emissions than an equivalent of glass according to Berkeley Ecology Center. 

According to the Container Recycling Institute in 2005, 85 billion bottles of water were sold mostly in PET containers. And in 2004, 85 percent of all non-carbonated PET bottles ended up in landfills or as litter in parks and along roadways -- that's 24 billion empty water bottles, 66 million every day according to the Sierra Club Organization. And many of these bottles end up in the vast floating vortex of plastic the size of Texas in the Pacific Ocean.

Tap water may have rumors about it, but rumors are not always true. Some or most of United States tap water has minerals and natural vitamins non-harmful to the body. People may think if they buy bottled water and properly dispose of it then they are off the hook; well no, anyone who thinks they did a good deed is wrong. Those bottles will still end up in landfills.
   
The best one can do is support the environment by reducing or boycotting use of bottled water. People who wish to act on an alternative, could drink from metal or aluminum canteen bottles that do not pollute the environment and which can be purchased online. 

For further information on bottled water visit the writer's blog at www.spencersalinder01.blogspot.com.

Salinder is a 10th-grade student at Harwood and wrote this paper for Jean Berthiaume's Creating Sustainable Communities class.

 

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