Is Bottled Water Really Just Tap Water?

Is Bottled Water Really Just Tap Water?There is a recent furor over admissions by bottled water brands that their relatively expensive product actually comes from tap water, labeled P.W.S. or Public Water Source. Aquafina, the world’s largest brand of bottled water, which is owned by PepsiCo, recently changed its label to include PWS due to the influence of Corporate Accountability International.

Corporate Accountability International is a Boston-based watchdog organization established during the 1977 Nestle baby formula boycott. After the success of its Nestle boycott, Corporate Accountability International continued to demand corporate accountability. The organization’s latest targets include bottled water brands. Corporate Accountability International’s web site can be accessed here:

CAI did not single out Aquafina for pressure. The organization is also pressuring Coca Cola Company for transparent labeling on it Dasani water brand. Dasani is tap water, no differently and no less than is Aquafina. However, customers claim they understand that Aquafina and Dasani are tap water but are purified through reverse osmosis, ultraviolet and ozone sterilization

So, what’s the big deal? The big deal is twofold: cost and pollution. The cost of purified tap water is quite high. More than 60% of bottled water sales are in single 16.9 oz. bottles. Relative to the average cost of tap water, bottled water costs nearly $7.50/gallon, which is nearly 2000 times more than a gallon of tap water and more than 2 times as much as a gallon of regular gasoline. No wonder PepsiCo and Coca Cola love that bottled water: it is an ever-higher source of income.

Secondly, pollution is deemed a huge problem, plastic water bottle-wise. As of 2012, Americans used more than 60 million plastic water bottles every day and 86% of those bottles ended up in landfills. Even the Pacific Ocean supposedly has enough plastic bottles to comprise an island 2x as big as Texas. The relatively astronomical cost and oppressive pollution problem make the lucrative bottled water industry quite unpopular with consumer advocacy and environmental groups.

Corporate Accountability International, for one organization, has been educating and otherwise acting against bottled water brands for years, as this informative 2010 YouTube video shows:

PepsiCo’s and Coca Cola’s willing admission about their products’ tap water roots is obviously a very small step. The extremely high cost of their products, plus the enormous pollution problem posed by plastic bottles, are issues that are still not adequately addressed.

By Kathy Catanzarite

Source: Kathy Catanzarite – Writer

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