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Bottled Water: Top 10 Reasons Not to Buy It

1. The plastic for bottling water is made from crude oil.

2. Water is very heavy, and transporting it long distances burns massive quantities of fossil fuels. Local tap water is distributed through an energy-efficient infrastructure.

3. 90% of bottles (30 million a day!) end up not recycled but in landfills.

4. Water, like air, should be available to all, but people around the world have found their clean water privatized and unaffordable.

5. For most healthy people, the New York region's tap water is as healthy as-if not more healthy than-bottled water. Testing is more stringent for tap water than for bottled. About 40% of bottled water [including Coke's Dasani] is actually tap water with added minerals. (The Dept. of Environmental Protection can provide a kit for testing your tap water, if you're concerned.)

6. In their efforts to support this $9 billion industry (in 2004), corporations have actually bought rights to municipal well water.

7. Bottled water costs approximately 10,000 times more than tap water. [Polaris Institute's "Inside the Bottle" states: "The U.S. Natural Resources Defense Council has estimated that bottled water is between 240 and 10,000 times more expensive than tap water.]

8. Farmers, fishers, and others suffer from reduced water tables near the large bottling plants.

9. The U.N. Millennium Development Goal for environmental sustainability says it would cost $15 billion a year to halve the proportion of people around the world who lack safe drinking water. Meanwhile, $100 billion is spent on bottled water.

10. If the wealthiest members of our society turn their backs on tap water, it leaves the poorest to defend the safety of our municipal water system.

We need to demand that a safe water supply is available for all.

Sources for more info:

Earth Policy Institute, "Bottled Water: Pouring Resources Down the Drain," February 2, 2006

The New York Times Op-Ed, "Bad to the Last Drop, Ausust 1, 2005

The New York Times, "Must be Something in the Water, February 15, 2006

From the Natural Resources Defense Council, "Bottled Water: Pure Drink or Pure Hype."

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