The Bottled Water Battle


Tapped Trailer Courtesy of: Our Water Revolution

Documentaries have a way of making viewers stop and think seriously about an issue. The film Tapped, a documentary about bottled water, was a very eye-opening experience; some of the facts presented were almost horrifying. The special screening of Tapped was sponsored by the Parkside Environmental Club and Conscientious Foodies, and the groups hoped that showing the documentary would open students’ eyes to the negative qualities of bottled water.

Think for a moment, at how many times a week you purchase bottled water. How much do you spend on it weekly? Is bottled water really cleaner than tap water? Where do you throw it when you’re done with it, in the trash or in the proper recycling receptacle? If you throw it in the trash, where does it eventually end up? The answers to all these questions and more were presented in Tapped.

Americans annually spend more money on bottled water than they do on gasoline. The big water companies are Nestle, Coca-Cola, and Pepsico, and long story made short, these companies care more about making a profit on bottled water sales than they do about environmental rights, human rights, or water conservation. The bottled water itself is no cleaner than tap water is; if anything, it is less clean, containing chemicals such as toluene, stylene, and 3 different types of phthalates, which are known to cause all kinds of diseases and cancer. The bottles themselves are made of PET and BPA, plastics made from liquid refined oil, which have been proven to cause cancer. These materials are recyclable, but only 50 million out of 80 million of the world’s bottles are recycled per year; the rest end up in landfills, or worse, in our oceans, polluting our seas and beaches.

Why should we care about the environment? It is our home, where we live, work, play, go to school, and it is our only home at that; we should take care of it as well as we take care of our own health. Because of the health and pollution risks that bottled water poses, we should try to limit purchase and consumption as much as possible; however, when we do consume it, we need to be sure and recycle it. Unfortunately, Governor Walker’s Budget Reform Bill proposes cutting recycling funds; municipal recycling facilities will receive virtually no government aid. Recycling will still be possible, but it will be far less common in public facilities and far less encouraged. If more governments take initiatives like this, the future does not look bright for the recycling industry, human health, or the enivronment.

Story by Rachel DePalma

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