Last Updated on March 10, 2021 by Filip Poutintsev
The concept of bottled water is based on the principle of the fresh drinking water supply to the reasons where tap water is not feasible by packing it inside the glass or plastic bottles.
The availability of bottled water either carbonated or regular varies to big carboys from tiny bottles throughout the world. Although there are some places where water is bottled on glass containers, almost everywhere plastic bottles are popular maybe because of the convenience it offers.
Even though there is a wide availability of fresh drinking water from the tap, the use of bottled water is very common in today’s time. The reason behind its popularity could be the need for portable drinking water for people who usually travel or go to the gym to keep themselves hydrated. Another possible reason could also be that with about half the price of any juice or soda can, one can acquire a safe and zero-calorie drink (the water) anytime anywhere.
However, you might still have some quarries regarding the safety of these kinds of water and would want to know what impact does the use of bottled water cause to the world. Well, all these debates will be addressed thoroughly along with the key pros and cons of the bottled water in the upcoming section. Before that, let’s catch you up on how this concept came into existence and from when did the use of bottled water gained such popularity.
A Brief History
The concept of storing and transporting of water in containers dates back to the initial human evolution, but the actual bottling of water initiated in 1621 at the Holy Well of the United Kingdom, which roused the demand for bottled water around the 17th and 18th centuries because of the resurrection in water therapy and spa visiting among the American colonists as well as Europeans.
Although, it was not until 1767 that Jackson’s Spa sold the first bottled water in Boston, which marked the beginning of commercially sold bottled water in America.
However, around the 20th century, the municipal water supplies started chlorination of water, which reduced the concern of most of the American regarding the unsafety of municipal waters.
This led to the decline of bottled water popularity. Regardless, bottled water remained prevalent around Europe, where even grocery stores and cafes started selling those in the late 20th century. At present, bottled water has been able to acquire the position of the second-largest consumed saleable drink in the US.
Pros of Bottled Water
Bottled water comes with several advantages to look up to and some of them are listed below:
1. Highly Convenient
One can consider that the convenience of carrying it anywhere around with us especially to places where the availability of drinking water is extremely rare is the topmost advantage of bottled water and the first consideration of any consumer while purchasing the bottle.
2. Larger Availability
With the variety of sizes and forms, it has to offer, bottled water can readily be purchased from all the grocery stores and supermarkets making it easily available to the consumers who can choose between the form and size they want.
3. Easy Storage
Most of the houses store a significant quantity of bottled water for emergency cases mainly because it never expires and can be stored easily anywhere. This will prove to be lifesaving in case of disasters such as earthquakes or hurricanes.
4. Anywhere Hydration
Due to the portability as well as durability of the bottle, the water in it can be carried along while travelling, sporting, working, playing, etc., which thus allows one to drink water anytime anywhere and aids to stay hydrated throughout the day.
5. Clean Drinking Water
Bottled water is produced under strict command and regulation for ensuring the cleanliness and decontamination, and is filled only after the tests for harmful bacteria and chemicals. This proves to be very assuring and convenient in places with no access to safe and clean tap water.
Cons of Bottled Water
Regardless of the benefits it offers, one can’t overlook the following disadvantages of bottled water.
1. Risk of Health Problems
The plastic bottles in which water is stored is known to contain chemicals such as BPA or bisphenol A, which might leak into the water in case of older bottles or bottles exposed to excessive sunlight. The consumption of such water can increase the risk of health problems in most individuals.
2. Enhances the Greenhouse Effect
As per a study, around 24 million oil barrels are required every year for formulating the plastics, which are the raw material for the products of bottled water. This implies that with every purchase of bottled water, we are enhancing the greenhouse effect, which is the prime cause of global warming because of which Earth is on the verge of collapse.
3. Environment Hazard
Irrespective of a means for disposing of the containers of bottled water, people tend to just dispose of it at their surrounding water resources, which being plastic doesn’t decompose easily and is also consumed by several animals as well as birds. This pollutes the environment and causes severe health issues to those birds and animals. This increases the need for more environment friendly technologies.
4. Absence of Fluoride
Fluoride is known to strengthen one’s teeth and limit the chances of cavities. Almost every municipality provide drinking water with added fluoride, but the bottled water distributors do not add fluoride in the water, which increases the risk of cavities in children with regular usage of bottled water.
When you consider the costs that are associated with sanitizing, packaging, marketing, shipping, and preserving the bottled water is all covered up by the water’s cost itself, the product is understood to be very expensive as compared to the tap water. And if bought daily, the expenses can be more than the milk.
One can say that bottled water is the most convenient and effective means of remaining hydrated throughout the day wherever you are and with such wide availability, the places with the scarcity of tap water can use this to fulfil their basic need. Also, with the safety, it offers many are convinced to choose bottled water over tap water.
But, not all bottled water suppliers are known to deliver such high-quality water, and many health problems surface on those people who regularly consume bottled water from cheap distributer. Also, one should not overlook the adverse effect caused by the plastic bottles on the environment as well as the wildlife, and the expense of regular bottled water purchase.