Claims Against Bottled Water Unfounded

One claim is that bottled water is no different than tap water. Well, it is different in a lot of ways. One being it is in a bottle so the delivery system is completely different, which makes it a convenient option for people who are on the go. The package also ensures that it is sanitary. It is different than tap water, which travels through pipes and has other issues.

Environmentalists have said that bottled water is simply bottled tap water, but in reality 75% of bottled water is from springs and natural sources. The rest of it, if it is bottled from municipal sources, is treated and has to meet certain standards and regulations beyond what the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) regulations are for tap water. The standards for bottled water are different—they basically meet EPA regulations plus packaging regulations, which are just as stringent, if not more.

Another claim is that bottled water is unduly wasteful, more wasteful than other products, but there is really no evidence for that. It is not a huge portion of solid waste, and putting taxes and bans on it is not going to have much of an impact on the amount of waste that goes into a landfill. Bottled water containers are recyclable and the part of the story that is not being told is that the 5-gal containers are recycled at nearly a 100% rate. They are used 30 to 50 times over, so they are an environmentally friendly product from that perspective.

There are also a lot of claims about the chemicals in the products, but a lot of times the chemicals referred to do not even appear in the bottles. BPA is not found in single-serving containers. It is found in the 5-gal containers, but at such a low level that it is inconsequential. There has never been a public health issue cited from [chemicals in bottled water containers], it’s just speculative and way overblown.