Bottle water is everywhere. Americans are drinking bottled water like never before. Every second of everyday in the US, a thousand people buy and open up a plastic bottle & every second a thousand of plastic bottle are thrown away. According to Sandra Alters in Water: no longer for granted 85 million bottles are consumed a day. So there come a lot of questions in my head: Why do we buy bottle water? Where is the source of water? Where these plastic bottles go when we throw them away?
Today, I want to share with you what I have learnt about reasons we buy bottle water, the quality of the water, the source where it is taken from, and what happen to a plastic bottle. Let look at some of the reasons we buy bottle water. We buy bottle water for varieties of reasons: Fear of tap water, taste and convenience We try to avoid tap water as much as possible because hear the news that filled with stories about water contamination. We also don’t like how our tap water tastes because we think it is polluted by things we cannot see and smell.
We usually seek the convenience of little portable packages of water that available everywhere. It seems that the quality of water has good reputation but is it true? At first glance, there are far fewer problems with bottle water quality than the quality of tap water. There are two possible explanations for this: either its safer or we’re just ignorant the true problems with bottled water. The US national water-quality laws have been in place in one form or another for many decades for protecting public health. However, the federal agencies have no authority over bottled water.
Instead, The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulate bottled water because it is considered a “food product” sold in individual containers. This explains the nutritional label found on US bottled water which carefully & also uselessly. FDA rules determine how bottled water quality is checked but in fact most FDA inspection doesn’t involve actually taking or testing of water samples because the agency believes that “bottled water” has a good safety record. ” In addition to that, bottled water contamination is rarely reported to the public or media but they are discovered more frequently than we know.
Now you know about some problems with bottled water. Let find out where is the source of the water is taken from. The FDA has established standards of identity for various types of bottle water including spring water, mineral water, artisan water & purified water. Spring water is water derived from an underground formation from which water flows naturally to the surface of the earth is collected only at the spring. Once upon a time, Poland Spring water actually came from the famous Poland Spring in the state of Maine but because of the high demand for water.
There was not enough water to provide. Alternative spring water from other sources is collected. Now Poland Spring is just a “brand” rather than a “source. ” Another kind of water is purified water. According to The US Pharmacopeia, purified water is water that has been treated by distillation, ozonation, reverse osmosis, ultraviolet purification, or other “suitable processes. ” Because it doesn’t have to label “spring,” the source of water is local municipal tap water that has already been treated to meet federal standards and then goes thru more intensive purification systems.
However the process stripped the entire mineral from the water, thus, carefully prepared mixed of minerals added back to the water for decent taste. Therefore, purified bottled water tasted the same no matter where you buy them. The collecting and treating process of the water is fascinating, isn’t it? But how the plastic bottle itself is produced? In 1941, John Rex Whinfield and his assistant James Dickson discovered a magical new material.
It became widely known as “Polyethylene Terephthalate” (PET or PETE. PET is widely considered to be one of the safest forms of plastic for food packaging. It is resistant to heat, mineral oils, solvents, acids & doesn’t disturb a taste to its contents. To make a beverage bottle, pure PET pellets is heated and molded into “preforms” which looks like a thick-wall test tube with same weight as the final bottle and with a finished neck and set of cap threads. Preforms are then heated, stretched & blown into the final bottle shape. At modern bottled water plant, millions of thrown away PET bottle can be produced each day.
But this convenience comes at cost. PET itself is typically made form petroleum. Making a kilogram of PET, which is enough for 30 of 1 liter plastic bottles take around 3 liters of petroleum. More energy is then required to turn that PET into bottles, to filter & purify the water. It also takes a lot of energy to move the finished product to the place you buy it. The energy cost when different pieces put together: materials, productions and transportation is a thousand times larger than the energy required producing, processing, treating and delivering tap water.
What about the environmental consequences of the bottles when we’re done with them? The plastic PET bottles are 100% recyclable. In 2007 the National Association for PET Container Resources reported that over 5. 6 billion pounds of PET bottles & jars were available for recycling, only 1. 4 billion were actually recycled. That is less than 25%. The rest end up in one of the nation’s land fills. That is one of the reason major bottlers making an effort to reduce the amount of plastic used to produce bottles. But in the end, lightweighting does nothing to increase recycling rate or reduce the actual volume & numbers of bottles ending up in land fills.