Facts About Bottled Water
The bottles contain chemicals!
12 million barrels of oil are used every year in worldwide bottled water manufacturing. The plastic most commonly used to make the bottles is polyethylene terepthalate (PET), which is derived from crude oil. A study conducted by the Berkeley Ecology Center found that manufacturing PET “generates more than 100 times the toxic emissions —in the form of nickel, ethylbenzene, ethylene oxide and benzene —compared to making the same amount of glass”.
Did you know that re-used plastic water bottles can leach chemicals such as DEHA, a possible human carcinogen, and benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP), a potential hormone disruptor. And one University of Winnipeg study found traces of lead in several brands of commercially available bottled water in Canada.
But unfortunately, current regulations in Canada do not set any chemical or radiological standards for bottled water. And incinerating used bottles produces toxic byproducts such as chlorine and toxic ash containing heavy metals. While plastic bottles are breaking down they often release toxic chemicals such as phthalates, which can leak into groundwater.
The water is not as pure as you may think!
Bacteria are found in most bottled waters, sold for drinking purposes. Bottled water is usually disinfected to remove harmful microorganisms but this treatment is not intended to sterilize the water.
And did you know that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has issued 29 separate recalls of 49 bottled water products since 2000 because these products contained unacceptable levels of mold and coliform bacteria, chemical contaminants such as arsenic, and “extraneous material,” including glass.
In fact, it’s tap water!
Dasani bottled water comes from the tap in Brampton, Ontario, while Aquafina comes from the tap in Mississauga, Ontario – both cities which draw their water from Lake Ontario. Nestlé’s Aberfoyle Springs is taken from the Wellington County public water supply, the same aquifer that Guelph tap water is drawn from.
Most of the bottles end up in landfills, not the recycling!
The bottled water industry is one of the most polluting and one of the least regulated industries on earth. 40 billion litres of water are packaged yearly by the bottled water industry. 1.9 million litres are used in Canada alone. In Canada, bottled water consumption was estimated at 24.4 litres per person in 1999. By 2005, that number had increased to about 60.0 litres per person, with sales worth $652.7 million. Toronto alone, consumes an estimated 100 million plastic bottles a year, of which 35% are not recycled. For every tonne of PET manufactured, 3 tonnes of carbon dioxide are produced, which would be enough to fill 18 double-decker buses.
School Boards are banning them!
School boards in Toronto and Ottawa began to ban bottled water from school vending machines in 2009. Waterloo Region also banned the sale of plastic bottles in its schools starting in 2009 as well. The city of Toronto, where consumers toss an estimated 100 million plastic bottles a year, is also considering a ban.
Sick of worrying about chemicals? Tired of paying for bottled water? Want to help save the planet?
Consider a home water treatment system today, and improve your water and your health! Contact Performance Water Systems today to set up an appointment with a Water Treatment Specialist to have your water supply tested.
Sources: The Polaris Institute; CBC; Interview with Wellington Water Watchers Board Members James Gordon and Mike Nagy; Source; Murky Waters: A Polaris Institute Publication; Council of Canadians Publication: “The Commons”; Source; London on Tap