The ¨Dirt¨ on Water Bottles

 

Isabella Vaughn

 




What's in Your Water? Is it Worth the Cost? Which Companies Receive a Failing Grade? Is Bottled Water Bad for Us and the Environment? Can we Fix the Bottled Water Problem?



Read This Report to Find the Answers

     This book you are about to read is truly the ¨dirt¨ on bottled water. When you read ahead you will see where your water is coming from, what grade it received, how it affects your body and the environment, and much more. I chose to write about this topic because it seemed really interesting that the water in your plastic water bottle may not come from where you think it does and some can be very unhealthy. I also chose this topic because water in general is important to society, and it is important to drink from sanitary water bottles that are also eco-friendly. By reading this book I hope you not only learn facts that you never would have thought about, but also learn that while some water bottle companies are decent and honest with their labels, more companies are inferior and downright dishonest. In the end, the goal of this book is to educate you on exactly what you are putting in your body and what you are throwing in the trash.

This Book is Dedicated  To:

My grandpa, Edmund J. Cocozza, the person who has always been interested in this topic.

 

 

Table of Contents

 

Intro/Dedication……………………………………………………………………………........................…....pg.2

 

Table of Contents……………………………………………………………………....................……....…....pg.3

 

Chapter 1 - Where Does Bottled Water Come From and is it Worth the Cost......pg.4-9

 

Infographic Number 1- The “Dirt on Bottled Water¨..............................................pg. 5

 

Chapter 2 - Bottled Water Companies Not ¨Making the Grade¨.…........................pg.10-15

 

Chapter 3 - Bottled Water: Its Impact on Humans and the Enviornment…...……….pg.16-21

 

Infographic Number 2 - ¨How to fix the Water Bottle Problem¨ ………….………………pg.22

 

Glossary…………………………………………………………………………………................................…...pg.23

 

Bibliography for Images……………………………………………......................………………………….pg.24

 

Bibliography……………………………………………………………….............................…………………...pg.25


Photo Bomb……………………………………………………………............................……………………...pg.26

Chapter 1

Where Does Bottled Water Come From and is it Worth the Cost? 

 

 

Where Does Bottled Water Come From and is it Worth the Cost?

 

     Do you drink bottled water? A lot of people in the U.S. do; in fact more than half of Americans drink bottled water! In today's world, bottled water is considered apart of our culture. However, despite its popularity, most people do not even know where their bottled water originates from. We just expect that every water company gets their water from a natural spring, but that assumption is wrong. In fact, some water companies are downright dishonest about their labeling and some even do not list where their water comes from at all. Go ahead and look at your water bottle right now. Odds are you will not even be able to find where the water originated from or it is probably from a public water source. There is a possibility that you have been drinking a very expensive version of tap water this whole time rather than spring water. Americans spend billions of dollars every year on bottled water and need to know the truth about what is in their container before they spend another dime.

      First, some bottled water companies do not feel the need to label their water source. For example, a CNN report: ¨Most Bottled Water is Tap¨ posted by Matilda Ng, says that Aquafina only recently started to label the fact that its water comes from a public water source. Some people might be okay with the water coming from a public water source, but it is unfair that for a long time the company would not even label where it was coming from. When consumers found out about this issue, they said they would never want to buy Aquafina again. In fact, one woman felt that she had ¨… been bamboozled and hoodwinked all this time.¨ Furthermore, in an article called ¨Is Your Water Coming From A Faucet?¨ by Phil Lempert, it says that if your water bottle is labeled ¨purified¨ or ¨drinking water¨ it is likely from a municipal water supply. How do we know if the water in municipal supplies are sanitary?! We should get the right to know what is in our water. An article titled, ¨Is your bottled water safe?” by Kate Stinchfield said that labels and websites of about two hundred popular water bottle brands found some amazing information. They found that less than two percent of those brands reveal purification methods, chemical pollutants in each bottle, and the water's source. In addition, Susie Cagle wrote in her article, ¨Bottled water doesn't actually come from where you think it does¨ that eighteen percent of water brands give zero information on where their water is coming from.

     In addition to misleading consumers with their labels, did you know that a lot of         water companies are simply just bottling tap water? Many popular bottled water brands are just simply tap water. For example, according to a 2015 study by Statista.com, two of the top three selling water bottle brands, Dasani and Aquafina, are just public water! Furthermore, the CNN report: ¨Most Bottled Water is Tap¨ shows that while some of this public water is purified, many times it is not. It is frightening to think that the water millions of Americans drink may not even be purified! According to the article, ¨Natural Spring Water or Reconstituted Tap Water,¨ about 25% or more of bottled water is just water from the tap in a bottle. Similarly to Aquafina and Dasani, PepsiCo´s bottled water brand originates from multiple sources as well. In addition, as Susie Cagle discussed in her article mentioned above,¨Thirty-two percent of the 173 bottled-water brands failed to disclose information about their treatment procedures or water purity on the label.¨

 

     

     Besides the false information on the label and in the contents of the bottle, there is also the issue of cost. We spend so much money on this water wrapped in plastic, but is it really worth it? It might not be. To support my point, Americans spend a staggering 12 billion dollars a year on bottled water, according to a Business Insider article titled, ¨Bottled Water Costs 2000 Times As Much As Tap Water.” Why would we waste so much money on bottled water when we can turn on the sink? On average, each U.S. citizen has been paying over 100 dollars a year on bottled water. This information was gathered from an article called: ¨The Money Spent Can Be Used Better Elsewhere.¨ In fact, some Americans are spending even more than that. AquaDeco costs 12 dollars per bottle. But, that is nothing compared to Acqua di Cristallo ¨Tributo a Modigliani,¨ which is 3,600 dollars per bottle, making it the most expensive bottled water in the world.  If you want to spend even more, the company has a 60,000 dollar bottle in solid gold, according to the article: ¨Top 10 Most Expensive Bottled Waters In The World.¨ Why would anyone want to spend that much money on a bottle of water? Especially when you can donate that money to charity and put it to good use like providing drinking water to those who are dying of thirst?

 

     In conclusion, bottled water is something that costs a lot of money, and yet we have no idea where a lot of it comes from. Would you want your family to be drinking water that may not be sanitary or from a trusted source? We should start to question what is in our bottled water. The facts prove that  some companies use deceptive labels; others just put tap water in their bottles; and some charge way too much. Is that plastic bottle really worth the cost and are you satisfied with what they are giving you for the price? Chances are, you might not be!

 

 

 

Chapter 

 

 

2

 

Bottled Water Companies Not ¨Making the Grade¨

 

 

 

     Do you know that bottled water companies get graded? Thankfully they do, but surprisingly many are not getting passing grades. In fact, companies such as Market Basket Natural Spring Water got an F, according to the ¨EWG Bottled Water Scorecard for transparency in 2011.”  It is hard to find anyone who would want their water bottle label to have received an ¨F¨ for transparency and truth. The grades bottled water companies get may blow your mind and mostly in a bad way. This is because, while some companies have received decent grades because of their efforts, the majority got poor ones. In addition, the EWG test had some eye opening results related to how companies labeled their source, purification, testing, and advanced treatment on its bottled water.

 

First off, some companies did actually receive quality grades. For example, Nestle Pure Life Water got a ¨B¨ in 2011 for transparency with its labels and advertising. Likewise, the Gerber Pure Purified Water got a ¨B¨ as well in transparency from ¨EWG's Bottled Water Scorecard, 2011.¨ Additionally, in an article titled ¨Top Ten Bottled Water,” Evian was ranked one of the top ten brands in 2014 partially because of its naturalness. Fiji was also in that top ten list of 2014, and the article mentioned that Fiji was also known for its square bottle and smooth and soft taste. It is true that these companies got good grades, but why couldn't any get an ¨A¨ when it comes to something as important as our drinking water. Furthermore, why should a bottle of water be known for its cool shape like the Fiji brand? Shouldn't they be known for something more important?

     While the companies just mentioned may have received good grades, the number of companies that got poor grades is way more staggering. You might think bottled water from Whole Foods would receive top grades, but the EWG survey from 2011 gave it a failing grade. Even worse, many companies received failing grades in ¨EWG's Bottled Water Scorecard, 2011.¨ Vintage Natural Spring Water, Cumby´s Spring Water, and O Water Sport also got an ¨F.¨ Additionally, Sahara Premium Drinking Water and Market Basket Natural Spring Water failed as well.

     

     The EWG also did very interesting research on transparency to show how much information water bottle companies provided to their consumers. Companies were graded on how much they provided on the source, purification, testing, and advanced treatment. The water company, 7 Select Spring Water, had barely any information on purification, which is one of the most important things about bottled water. It was rated under grade: ¨D¨ (Murky Labels). The brand (Stop&Shop) Acadia Natural Spring Water was rated grade: ¨F¨ (Murkiest Labels) because it had no information on purification, testing, and advanced treatment! In addition, Nursery Purified Water put most of the necessary information on its label, but it provided barely anything about the source of its water, and so it was given a ¨C¨ grade. Giving out the water source seems essential, but I guess Nursery Purified Water thinks otherwise. Lastly, Give Life [to children in need] Natural Spring Water gave zero information on purification, testing, and advanced treatment and were under the section grade: ¨F¨ (murkiest labels). This is sad because they do such nice charity work for those in need, but they should be providing full information because they are trying to help such a big cause.

 

     In conclusion, the grades that bottled water companies get is something that should catch everyone's attention. To support my point, there are bottled water companies that get good grades, but there are more companies getting inferior grades. Also, the EWG grades of 2011 labeling information is critical to know about if you are drinking a bottle of water that may have gotten a murky label grade. It seems odd for famous brands like Dasani Purified Water, or any brand for that matter, to get such inferior grades. With grades this poor, many wonder why they stay in business and why we continue to ¨buy¨ into it.

 

 

Chapter 3

 

Bottled Water: Its Impact on

 

Humans and the Environment

 

     Before you even think about buying another bottle of water, think about how it will affect you and the environment. Some bottles could harm your health, and all of the plastic bottles that are thrown away will impact the Earth in a negative way. Three billion pounds of plastic water bottles are not recycled every year, which represents four out of five bottles that get dumped into a landfill. Also, in the U.S. alone, seventeen million barrels of oil are used in the production of plastic water bottles every year, according to an article that was published on HydrateLife called, Why It's Bad For You, The Environment, And Water - Part II.  As you are starting to learn, plastic water bottles do not live up to all their hype and advertising. This is because, it is inferior for us, and the environment. But luckily, there still may be time to fix this huge problem.  

 

     First of all, plastic bottled water is detrimental to us. To support my point, some plastic water bottles have chemicals that can seep into your drinking water. This is very dangerous to have harmful chemicals in your drinking water. Furthermore, plastic water bottles that contain BPA have also been linked to increased rates of diseases in adults. This information was found in an article called: Health Effects of Plastic Water Bottles by, Emily Beach. The author also wrote in her article that ¨according to CBC News, BPA exposure is tied to breast, prostate, and ovarian cancer, though further research is needed to fully explore the subject.¨ Why risk getting cancer? Scientists should find out immediately if BPA is tied to cancer. In an article called: Bottled Water Poisons Your Body One Swallow at a Time by, Dr. Mercola, there was a very interesting yet frightening fact. Dr. Mercola said that if you are nursing or pregnant your child could be at risk. He said that if you are feeding your toddler or baby from a plastic bottle, you should switch to a glass cup to avoid BPA. It is hard to imagine anyone who is not frightened by this information and would not think twice before drinking out of plastic.

 

     In addition, plastic water bottles are not friendly to our environment. The article above also mentioned the following statistics: Sixty-seven million water bottles are thrown away each day, and only about 10% of these bottles of water are recycled! Not to mention, bottling water produces more than 2.5 million tons of carbon dioxide a year! By 2017, the average person will drink almost 300 bottles annually. This information was mentioned in, Why You Absolutely Should Give Up Bottled Water For Good, from the Small Footprint Family. Also, while some people think bottles made out of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) are better because they reduce the amount of waste going into landfills, PET bottles never actually biodegrade according to, Why It's Bad For You, The Environment, And Water - Part II. Other types of bottles do actually biodegrade, but it takes 450-1000 years! It is no wonder why there are so many landfills overflowing with plastic!

 

      Even though bottled water is incredibly bad for us and the environment, it may not be too late to fix this problem. For example, picking up trash and plastic at any local body of water such as a beach or river would really help the clean up. Also, if something is too hard for one person to clean up, you can spread the word to have other people help. By working together to fix this problem, we also get some fun benefits out of it. The article, 10 Things You Can Do Today to Start Solving the Plastic Water Problem, points out that these cleanup efforts are a great way to get outdoors and bring the community together. You can also find other ways to help with this problem by researching for organizations that are looking for volunteers to solve this massive problem. Lastly, an easy way for you to help yourself and the environment all by yourself, is to use an eco-friendly reusable water bottle that is BPA free, and does not cause plastic waste.

 

     

     In summary, bottled water can be a huge threat to our society. This is because it is harmful to us and the environment. But if we start to take action now, we may be able to find a workable solution. Why risk getting an acute illness and destroying the environment when we can just take action and become more eco-friendly? Trash and plastic are not going to clean up the problem we have made on their own. Let's ¨step up to the plate¨ and take care of ourselves, the environment and the future of our water!

 

Glossary

 

Chemical - a substance that is used in or produced by a chemical process.

 

Consumer - someone that buys something.

 

Detrimental - something harmful or damaging; causing detriment.

 

Downright - thorough, straightforward, frankly, direct, absolute.

 

Environment - all of the surrounding things: conditions, air, water organisms, society, etc..

 

Increased - to make greater in size, number, quality, etc..

 

Inferior - lower in rank or grade; a lot of times something that is bad or poor in quality.

 

Murky - something that is gloomy, dark, and/or hazy.

 

Naturalness -  formed by or existing in nature (instead of artificial).

 

Originates - where something starts, begins, or rises.

 

Pollutant - a substance like waste products or some types of chemicals that hurt the air, water, soil, or any natural resource.

 

Purification - to clear, make clean, make pure.

 

Quality -  superior, high grade.

 

Source - a place where something comes from our originates from.

 

Staggering - tending to overwhelm or stagger.

 

Statistics - data or numerical facts/information.


Transparency - the state of being open; frank; truthful.

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Photo Bomb!