Bottled water has 3,500 times more impact on environment than tap water
Bottled water has a 3,500 times higher impact on the natural resources of the Earth when compared to normal tap water, recent research has concluded.
In a first of its kind research, scientists studied the impact of bottled water on the Earth’s ecosystem in comparison to tap water. Experts found out that the bottled water can result in a 3,500 times higher cost of resource extraction than tap water consumption.
This research, conducted by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), has come at a time when the consumption of bottled water is becoming increasingly popular in Barcelona. Experts have also claimed that the impact of bottled water is 1,400 times higher on the ecosystem than tap water.
"I think this study can help to reduce bottled water consumption, but we need more active policies to change that," lead author of the study and ISGlobal researcher Cristina Villanueva said. "For example, in Barcelona, we could have more education campaigns to make the public aware that the health gains from drinking bottled water are minor compared to the environmental impacts. We need to improve access to public water, to public fountains, to public buildings where you can bring your own bottle and don’t need to buy one. We need to facilitate access to public water in public streets."
"People trust bottled water because advertisers have done a good job of convincing people it’s a good option, so we need the effort on the other side," she added.
Researchers also pointed out that the process of treating drinking water generates low levels of trihalomethanes (THM), which are often associated with a high risk of bladder cancer.
However, the experts feel that "health reasons don’t justify the wide use of bottled water. Yes, strictly speaking, drinking tap water is worse for local health, but when you weigh both, what you gain from drinking bottled water is minimal. It’s quite obvious that the environmental impacts of bottled water are higher compared to tap water," Villanueva explained.