Bad News Of The Day: Bottled Water Sales Increased In 2011

Plastic Bottled Water

“Although the U.S. has among the safest tap water in the world, the U.S. remains the largest market for bottled water. The next two, in order, are China and Mexico, both countries in which tap water is either unavailable, or typically not considered safe to drink.
Charles Fishman, FastCo.Exist, Americans Guzzling More Bottled Water Than Ever

Choosing to pay for water stored in a plastic bottle for who knows how long over getting it from the tap is absolutely nuts. And trying to make the argument that buying bottled water over soda doesn’t jive either because safe and clean soft drinks are not freely running through our taps in the same way as water.

In 2011, we unfortunately reversed a 3-year downward trend and consumed more plastic enclosed water than ever – 29.2 gallons per person based on data from the Beverage Marketing Corp (BMC). According to the BMC, people choose bottled water because they consider it “convenient, appealing and also healthy.” Sounds like we’re getting suckered into a marketing message.

Would you pay $1.29 for somebody to run into your house or a restaurant to fill a reusable water bottle for you? Probably not but we will thoughtlessly shell the same amount of money to buy bottled water.

999BottlesCrowdsourced apps that tell you drinking fountain locations are neat but are not the solution. And gimmicky $29 stainless models like 999Bottles, that let you count how many plastic ones you avoid, aren’t the solution either.

Reversing the reversal.
The solution is simple: just don’t buy bottled water. We’ve complicated the issue of not buying bottled water so much that we keep coming up with unnecessary alternatives like fountain apps and the over-priced 999Bottles. If you have a personal drinking container – mini-marts, restaurants and grocery stores will let you refill your water bottle using their fountain drink dispensers at no charge. And if you don’t have a container, drink sink water out of your hand.

Think about it, we’re talking about clean water that is more available in the US than public restrooms. We don’t put on our Depend brand adult diapers every morning in fear of not finding a public toilet. We trust in the fact that if we have to go, we will find one. Finding and consuming clean drinking water should be viewed the same uncomplicated way.

So if you need to drink some water, don’t play chess with the idea of finding an un-plastic source. Free, clean and safe drinking water is available everywhere in the US and if you’re without your stainless reusable bottle, drink it out of your hand. [FastCo.Exist]