Water – the new gold

Water – the New gold

I can’t understand why people spend good money on bottled water.  Here in Sydney people spend up to AU$5 for a 600ml bottle, when we have perfectly good water coming out of our taps free!  I recently calculated that some people are paying vastly more for bottled water than they are for petrol, which has doubled in price over the last few years.  And yet, no-one seems to complain about it.Apart from the cost, I think of all those plastic bottles being swept down the stormwater drains and into the sea, or our beautiful Sydney Harbour, choking both the harbour and its sea life.Coca Cola has become one of the biggest investors in bottled water, which just goes to show how much money it is worth.    As they are one of the sponsors of the 2012 London Olympics, they  want people to buy their products e.g. Coca Cola and their brand bottled water.  Spectators cannot bring in water containers over 100mls to the Olympics, although there are areas where you can refill your bottles.  I can’t imagine too many people would want to queue for ages to fill up 100ml containers though, especially when there are bigger bottles available for sale.   This makes it more likely that people will buy prebottled rather than bring their own limited size bottles.  Thus branded water has more of a monopoly over sales, with Coca Cola hoping to benefit most as the only seller available there.People are led to believe that bottled water is “pure” whilst tap water contains all sorts of nasties, but that has been proved to be untrue with laboratory tests, and sometimes the reverse is actually true.  We bought a water filter years ago which was quite cheap and very effective in filtering out the majority of harmful chemicals or bacteria.

Perhaps the main reason bottled water has become such a big seller is the branding and snob value.  It has become almost essential to be seen with your bottle of “pure mineral springs” water, whether you are working out at the gym, sitting outdoors at a cafe or just walking around.  Tap water cannot compete on that level, but you can still pour it into an empty labelled bottle if you want to impress others.

http://www.abc.net.au/environment/articles/2011/07/04/3260626.htm

The above article taken from ABC Televisionsums up the illogical use of bottled water and environmental impacts much better than I can, and also documents some creative and effective  ways people are finding to say NO to bottled water.

Icelandic Glacial bottled water
Icelandic Glacial bottled water (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
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7 thoughts on “Water – the new gold”

  1. Hey that is true, what is even crazier is that on many bottled water labels, they will say something along the lines of, “this bottle of water will help save the rainforest or the environment.” It doesn’t make sense!! Tap water is the way to go..however I am concerned about the addition of fluoride to our water systems..It is a poison.

    1. I know there are many things about fluoride that are bad, but in Australia the areas that do not have it have children with many cavities. When I was a child there was no fluoride in Australia, and most of my generation had this problem, but my children and their generation have virtually no fillings. There is also a link between rotten teeth and heart disease as the bacteria can travel to the heart, so that is also a concern, especially when people are poor and cannot afford to go to the dentist. It’s a bit of a damned if you do and damned if you don’t situation.

    1. I agree. Obviously for those without good drinking water bottled water is a safe and essential alternative solution. Also for those living in areas prone to natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes, hurricanes or droughts. Here in Australia we have suffered from severe floods and droughts, but the point I am making is that most bottled water is unnecessary in wealthy countries like us unless we have a shortage. We have had to build several desalination plants as Australia is the driest continent in the world so that we will have sufficient water to serve our population in the event that our dams/rivers run
      dry. A few years ago Warragamba Dam which supplies Sydney’s drinking water was very low after a long drought, but this year we have had excessive rain and it is nearly full.

  2. I agree that for people without safe drinking water bottled water is the way to go, but in Sydney we are so lucky to great drinking water. It’s crazy the impacts that bottled water has not only on our environment but also our pocket! There is an easy alternative of taking our bottle and then installing water fountains around the place. Places like Bundanoon in NSW and University of Canberra of banned bottled water in their community and this is both economically and environmentally better for their community, especially when it takes over 100years for the plastic bottles to bio-degrade.

    Also on the point of the fluoride in our tap water, this is n constant debate, but the Sil86as2 is right, the health benefits do outweigh the negative. I would check out Sydney Water’s website, they tell you some good information about fluoride and about the type of regulation we have on our water supply.

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