You hear it everywhere you turn these days: Go Green, Go Green, Go Green! Since 1996, PHSI’s Sterling Water Coolers® has been at the forefront of the “Go Green” movement. Drinking water from Sterling Water Coolers water purification systems doesn’t subject our environment to the pollution that bottled water coolers do during their manufacturing and delivery processes. By replacing bottled water and old-fashioned filter coolers in your workplace with Sterling Water Coolers, you and your employees will enjoy pure, delicious, oxygenated drinking water that is better for you and better for our planet.
We all know bottled water is expensive and it’s not environmentally friendly but are you aware of the effects on your health and to your future access to water?
Public water is threatened everyday by the bottled water industry which takes public water resources to resell in plastic “convenience” bottles. According to the Beverage Marketing Corporation (BMC), in 2014 the total volume of bottled water consumed in the United States was 11 billion gallons, a 7.4% increase from 2013. That’s 11 billion gallons of water taken every year in the United States from our municipal resources and then sold back to the community at 1900 times the price of tap water.
Besides the obvious inflated pricing and privatization of water a more severe component to the industry is the gross amount of pollution that is pummeled into our environment on a daily basis through the manufacturing, processing, distributing and disposal of the product. In the US alone over 50 billion tons of oil is used to produce bottled water as well as gross amounts of energy and resources. To top it off, only 1/3 of plastic bottles get recycled so billions end up in landfills and our oceans which continue to threaten our already vulnerable marine life and our marine food web.
· By 2030 2/3 of the world will lack clean drinking water.
· 75% of the earth’s surface is covered in water but only 1% is drinkable
· Bottled water companies are stealing our access to water by collecting it at no cost and then repackaging it at 1900X the cost of tap water. This occurs all while the public has to make concessions for the lack of available water.
· Of the 80 million single serve bottles that Americans use daily 30 million ends up in landfills or the ocean.
· International recycling rates on beverage contains is 50% with the US falling behind at about 20% a number which declines every year.
· Plastics pose an immediate and urgent threat compromising our entire marine food web.
· All bottles are made from PET or PETE (polyethylene terephthalate).
· Plastic water bottle manufacturing uses 714 million gallons of oil every year.
· Large refineries such as the Nestle Company one based in Corpus Christi, TX are making locals sick because of the ground, soil and air pollution created from the factory. There is documentation of increased cancer, respiratory disease and birth defects occurring in the local community.
· BPA (Bishphynal A) which most plastic bottles and 5 gallon jugs are made with is highly toxic acting in low doses as estragen.
· BPA is linked to cancer, prostate cancer, diabetes, ADD, ADHD, liver and ovarian disease and lowered sperm count in men.
· Only 1 person in the FDA is relegated to overseeing the entire bottled water industry. Additionally FDA only regulates water moved from state to state and not water that is produced and sold within state lines which makes up about 70% of the water sold.
· Tap water is highly regulated for safety whereas bottled water is not. For example, for a city of a million residents the municipal water company has to test their water 300 times a month and make it public record. The bottled water companies are not required to test their water or make it public record.
· Bottled water is sold at 1900x the cost of tap water and most bottled water is tap water.
· The cost of bottled water is higher than the cost of gas.
· Nestle is one of the biggest profiteers from bottled water.
· Coke, Nestle and Pepsi are able to take water while local residents are placed under. restrictions of usage due to the lack of available water.
· Right now little or no laws exist to protect the public’s water from being taken by the bottled water companies. This creates privatization of water and inflated water prices.
**Above quotes are resourced from the 2007 documentary Tapped which that explores the bottled water industry and its long-term effects socially, economically and ecologically.
What can I do?
Changing the cultural mindset of “convenience” is paramount because multi-billion dollar companies don’t accidentally happen, they thrive because of consumer demand. Bottled water and many other single use products are frivolous while simple, environmentally friendly and affordable solutions are readily available to take their place.
For example, you can save a ton of money and the environment by purchasing your own in home or office filtration system. They are cost effective, are available whether you rent or own and often times have better quality filtration than bottled water. And, for those who want that convenience “on the go”, try purchasing a personal filter bottle that you can carry around and fill from any tap. Some last up to 100 gallons before needing filter changes which alone replaces 800, 16 oz plastic water bottles!!