For many years, Australians relied exclusively on rainwater or tap water for drinking. Now that consumers are turning to bottled water as the healthy and ‘pure’ alternative to tap water, are e really just wasting our money and the environment?
Bottled water is increasingly popular in Australia.
Spring water is extracted from natural sources. Other bottled water is simply water from the municipal water supply hat has been subjected to additional treatment.
Consumers may claim that bottled water is convenient and that it tastes better than tap water. It is also marketed as the healthy alternative to
sugared drinks and as the most ‘pure’ available water. But the health arguments for bottled water are overstated. The choice is not one between sugared drinks and bottled water, but between bottled water and tap water.
There is no evidence that bottled water is more ‘pure’ than tap water, but plenty of evidence to suggest that bottled water is costly: both to the hip
pocket and to the environment.
In extraction - Spring water is extracted from underground aquifers upstream from where the water surfaces. This disrupts aquifer flow, affecting flora and fauna.
In production: Most bottled water is packaged in PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic bottles which are derived from crude oil. It can take up to 3L of water to produce 1L of water.
In transportation: Transportation of bottled water around the world requires burning of fossil fuels.
In landfill and the litter stream: Although plastic bottles are recyclable, many end up in landfill and take up to 1000 years to break down. When littered
they often end up in the sea where they break up in small pieces, killing marine life that mistake them for food.