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By: Michael Colvin on August 28th, 2020

The 3 Problems with Bottled Water and How to Solve Them

More than 60 percent of Americans say that bottled water is their preferred beverage of choice, according to a national survey from 2017. It’s true, Americans are spending billions each year on bottled water, making them the world’s largest consumer.

If you are in the majority of Americans who rely on bottled water, you might also have some concerns. You are not alone. Having sold water in Mississippi for over 80 years, we have spoken with hundreds of customers who shared your same concerns.

We have extensively discussed the benefits of bottled water, however these benefits also come with a list of problems and high environmental costs. Some of these problems include pollution that comes not only from discarded bottles, but also during the production and transportation phases. 

 In addition to environmental concerns, we will also look into the health and economical concerns that consuming bottled water regularly can cause. At Exell, we have our customer’s best interests in mind, and we want to make sure that you are able to make a completely informed decision regarding your hydration needs.

Problem #1: Environmental Hazards of Water Bottles

It requires an intense amount of resources to manufacture, fill, and transport bottled water around the world. To add to the concern, recycling in the United States is becoming increasingly more difficult.  

This means that each bottle of water consumed, if not properly recycled, can take up to 500 years to biodegrade. During this time, all these bottles will end up sitting in a landfill and adding toxins into the watersheds and soil. 

It is estimated that 26 billion plastic bottles are made each year, which equals over 30 million tons of plastic. The concern is less about the volume, and more about the fact that most of it is not recycled. This means that the majority of this plastic ends up in garbage dumps, and at the rate they take to decompose, you can see why this is a huge problem.

Problem #2: Chemical Concerns

There are many potentially harmful chemicals that can seep into water if it is exposed to extreme temperatures or if it sits for long periods of time. A recent study was published in the Environmental Science and Technology journal that highlights the fact that the majority of plastics we encounter in our everyday lives can potentially contain toxic chemicals.

It is extremely important to pay attention to storage with bottles of water. An attractive feature of bottled water is portability, which makes it easy for them to get left in hot cars while running errands. 

When the plastic sits in elevated temperatures, the molecules loosen, causing them to leach into the water much quicker. This is what causes the funny taste

Problem #3: The High Price of Bottled Water

There’s no way to dance around the fact that drinking individual bottles of water is not the most budget-friendly option for your pocketbook. Convenience comes at a cost, and bottled water is no exception. 

Filtered tap water and 5-gallon jugs of water costs less than $0.01 per gallon, which is nothing compared to bottled water’s $10 or more per gallon. 

 In 2016, bottled water sales reached $12 billion in the United States alone, and has only increased in popularity since. This is due in large part to the great marketing the companies are doing to convince those that it is the healthiest option. 

The costs of marketing far exceed the costs of production, which also drives up the cost of bottled water. 

How to Solve Bottled Water’s Problems

There are many solutions that you can take to help alleviate not only the detriment to the environment, but also to your bank account. The overuse of plastic is a big problem in the United States, and finding alternatives to bottled water is a start to  help bring balance to our ecosystem.

Water Cooler Systems

If you are still adamant about avoiding tap water, water dispensers are a great option that can help to alleviate the concerns highlighted above. The jugs are BPA free and reusable, which means that they will not be contaminating your water or crowding the landfills for centuries.

Installing a water dispenser is a great way to save money for those who drink a moderate amount of bottled water. For example, a bottle of water costs roughly $1.25 from the vending machine, you are looking at $0.06 per ounce. 

You can buy a 5-gallon bottle of water for roughly $8.00, which equates to $0.01 per ounce. Just to put this into perspective, if you inflated the individual bottle of water, you would pay north of $38 for the 5-gallon jug!

Water Filtration and Purification

Water filtration and purification is, without a doubt, the most cost-effective and environmentally-friendly option. While the upfront cost may seem a bit pricey, over the course of a year it will become a money-saving investment.  

One of the big advantages of filtered water is that it is always available. You do not need to worry about stocking up and find places to store it, and you never have to worry about running out. Aside from routine maintenance, water filtration systems are an incredibly low-maintenance option. 

If you and your family are heavy users of bottled water, perhaps drinking a gallon per day, per family member, this could be the best option for you. Having an unlimited supply of clean water is important, and that is one thing you never have to worry about by filtering and purifying your already existing water line. 

Alternatives to Plastic Bottles

Installing a water cooler or filtration system in your home can only be effective if the receptacle used to drink the water is also environmentally friendly and cost-effective.

There are many options for waste-free bottles, and we recommend you buy a couple to rotate through each week so that you always have portable, clean water and do not feel compelled to stop and pick up a bottled water on the go. 

Glass, ceramic, and stainless-steel bottles are all great options that do not seep chemicals into your water. Another added benefit is that there are several options that are designed to maintain the temperature, meaning that your water can stay whatever temperature you desire for as long as it takes you to drink it. 

Making the Healthy Choice for Water

Bottled water is a great option in a pinch. It is easily found and easy to carry around, making it ideal for those on-the-go, however it is not ideal for exclusive consumption. 

Economically, bottled water is extremely expensive. As we discussed, there are cheaper alternatives that can be just as convenient and much friendlier on your budget.

A few things to consider when deciding on alternatives:

  1.     How much water does my family drink each day?
  2.     What is my motivation behind eliminating individual bottles of water?
  3.     What is the quality of my tap water?

 Whatever you decide — whether 5-gallon jugs, water filtration, or even sticking with individual bottles — Exell can help. With a quick site survey, our dedicated team members can get a better picture of your municipal water source and make a determination on which service will best fit your needs.