Essay on Bottled Water
Yizza Burgueno First Draft Instructor Michael Heumann English 101 March 26, 2013 Bottled Water Most American see bottled water as a necessity, even though bottled water did not exist many years ago.Drinking out of a water bottle has become the standard drinking source for most Americans.We have become dependent on plastic waste.
Water is life sustaining, so many of us would think that drinking water out of a bottle is harmless. Regrettably it is not, there have been traces of PET and BPA in the plastic containers we are drinking out of. Both PET and BPA can stimulate sever health consequences.
Not only are we putting our life in danger by drinking out of bottled water but our planet as well. Plastic bottles don’t just vanish into thin air. Most Americans don’t recycle, so most plastic bottles end up on streets, rivers, lakes, canals, streams, or oceans polluting our planet. Not only is bottled water way more expensive than tap, it also contains the same water quality as tap water. In other words we’re just paying for the names on the plastic bottles. Rather than paying for quality, our tap water can produce just about the same quality as bottled water. Bottled water is not all it is made out to be.
We all need water to survive, especially when up to 60% of the human body is composed of it (USGS, 2009). Water is absolutely necessary to our planet. Approximately 75% of the earth’s surface is covered by water, but only 1% of that is drinkable (Soechtig, 2009). Hence, clean drinkable water is not as easy to get as it may seem. Representative Dennis Kuchinich from Ohio states that, “Water is a basic human right, it’s a necessary for survival of life. When you start commodifying the necessities of life in such a way as to make it more difficult for people to gain access, you have the basis for serious political instability,” (Soechtig, 2009).
Water is no longer a fundamental right, it has become bankable and sold to people who already have perfectly drinkable water coming out of their tap. People are looking at water as if it were gold and are only looking for a way to profit off of it. Instead of waiting in line to drink from the water fountains, people are waiting in line at the stores to pay for overly priced bottled water. People are no longer drink out of water fountains or out their kitchen sinks because they have the luxury of buying bottled water.
Therefore, the demand for water fountains has decreased because of how easily it is to obtain bottled water. The more we buy bottled water, the more we are convinced that bottled water is not a luxury, but rather a necessity (Gleick, 2010, p. 107). Although, drinking out of a plastic bottle can cost twice as much, if not more than the water that comes out of our kitchen sinks and public drinking fountains and may also harm not only our health but our planet as well, millions of people still keep buying and drinking out of bottled water.
Peter Gleick author of Bottled and Sold: the Story Behind our Obsession with Bottled Water, wrote, “certainly, the environmental problems with bottled water, the economic costs to pocketbooks, and the growing support for improving tap water quality and reliability are all contributing to new thinking about the simple act of buying a plastic bottled water,”(Gleick, 2010, p. 161). Bottled water was nonexistent many years ago. Elizabeth Royote mentions in her book, that people did not start walking down the streets with their water bottles until 1989 when water could be put in clear, lightweight bottles made of polyethylene terephthalate (PET).
Once that was created, bottled water skyrocketed in the 90’s. Water sales tripled in size, from 4. 5 gallons per year for the average American in 1986, to 12. 7 gallons per person in 1997 (NRDC, 1999). In 2007, Americans bout more than 29 billion bottles of water (Soechtig, 2009). America has engraved into people heads that drinking tap water is not healthy and in fear of the people have turned to bottled water thinking it’s the healthier option for them. Some people have gone to drinking bottled water literally because they are concerned about their water, and the problem is they are unaware of the fact that buying bottled water is not necessarily safe, that they end up being exposed to other chemical compounds,” says Stephanie King (PH. D. , M. P. H. ) a toxicologists and epidemiologist with Toxicology Inc. (Soechtig, 2009). Bottled water can actually lead to health concerns for those with weak immune systems, (NRDC, 1999). Most water bottles are made from polyethylene terephthalate (PET), a polymer derived from oil that adds flexibility, color, and strength to plastic (Royote, 2008, p. 48). Another health risky ingredient in the manufacture of polycarbonate plastic is Bisphenol A (BPA), a non steroidal estrogenic compound (Rubin, Murray, Damassa, King, and Soto, 2001). BPA can be found in many products such as sports bottles, baby bottles, and water coolers (Soechtig, 2009). Every American owns or has own a bottled that contained BPA, and because BPA mimics estrogen most bottles say they are “BPA free”. “Bisphoenol A may be one of the most potent, toxic chemicals known to man. The problem is Bisphenol A acts at very low doses as an estrogen,” (Soechtig, 2009).
Both PET and BPA can be harming to Americans health, one leading to cancer and the other leading to the reproductive system. One’s life is not only in danger from drinking out of bottled water but the earth’s life as well. A large amount of water is wasted to create plastic bottles plus the water used to fill it. The amounts of bottles produce are not nearly close to the amounts recycled. Of the 80 million single served bottles of water consumed daily, 30 million ends up in landfills (Soechtig, 2009). The other ends up all over the streets making their way to the ocean, lakes, rivers, canals.
Etc. The average international recycling rate for beverages containers for the word is 50%, but the United States is 20% and this number has been declining (Soechtig, 2009). The cost to produce bottled water is twice as expensive as, if not more, than tap water. Why waste more money on bottled water when people are already paying for it in the comfort of their own home. There is the cost of materials, production, and transportation. “This energy cost is a thousand times larger than the energy required to produce, process, treat, and deliver tap water,” (Gleick, 2010, p. 5). Are we just paying for the brand of the bottle rather than the quality of the water? 40% of bottled water is really just filtered tap water (Soechtig, 2009). Meaning that if people added a filter to their tap they can have bottled water quality coming out of their own kitchen faucet for a lower price. Most bottled water labels show a beautiful picture of waterfalls or mountains with streams running through, portraying that that’s where the water comes from but in all reality the bottled water People are drinking from doesn’t come from afar.
Yosemite water one the most popular bottled water in the Imperial Valley comes from Los Angeles California (Gleick, 2010, p. 110). Bottled water can cause illnesses, pollution, and costs lots of money. It may have the advantage of being convenient, but convenient is not worth harming your health, making the earth less livable, or spending more money on something that can comes out of your kitchen faucet, which in most cases you’re already paying for. Bottled water may look fancy or have a different taste to it but it’s not worth all the consequences.
That’s why bottled water is not all it is made out to be. Works Cited Gleick, Peter H. Bottled and Sold: The Story behind Our Obsession with Bottled Water. Washington, Dc: Island, 2010. Print. Olson, Erik D. “Bottled Water. ” NRDC:. NRDC, 1999. Web. 5 Mar. 2013. <http://www. nrdc. org/water/drinking/bw/bwinx. asp>. Royte, Elizabeth. Bottlemania: Big Business, Local Springs, and the Battle over America’s Drinking Water. New York: Bloomsbury, 2009. Print. Rubin, B. S. , M. K. Murray, D. A. Damassa, J. C. King, and A. M. Soto. Abstract. ” National Center for Biotechnology Information. U. S. National Library of Medicine, 20 Dec. 2005. Web. 5 Mar. 2013. <http://www. ncbi. nlm. nih. gov/pmc/articles/PMC1240370/>. Soechtig, Stephanie. “Tapped. ” | Tapped the Movie – Official Site |. N. p. , 2009. Web. 19 Mar. 2013. <http://www. tappedthemovie. com/>. Us Geological Survey. “The Water in You. ” Water Properties: (Water Science for Schools). Us Geological Survey, Oct. 2009. Web. 5 Mar. 2013. <http://ga. water. usgs. gov/edu/propertyyou. html>.