Bottled Water Vs. Tap Water: How Much Does Your Choice Matter?
As more information is being unearthed on the harmful effects of plastic waste on our planet and oceans, many are beginning to question whether they should still be selecting bottled water or tap water for their daily usage.
The question comes down to a variety of factors; safety, sustainability, convenience, taste, etc. Therefore, the determination between bottled water vs. tap water ultimately requires a thorough understanding of all these components and a synthesis of the facts and data available to help water drinkers hydrate safely and conveniently.
To help determine the best option for you and your family, we at GOpure Pod have assembled a comprehensive breakdown of bottled water and tap water, then organized the takeaways for you in a manner that is both digestible and actionable.
We care deeply about the daily hydration practices of our customers and know the question of bottled water vs. tap water is one that weighs heavily on the minds of our amazing, eco-conscious followers to make healthier, more sustainable decisions for ourselves and our planet.
Pros and Cons of Bottled Water
At GOpure Pod, we have written extensively on the environmental harm associated with plastic consumption and waste. At this point there is no denying the facts, the proliferation of plastic waste on our planet and oceans is causing irrevocable harm and immediate action must be taken to remedy the damage.
However, bottled water consumption also bears some secondary health considerations, as well as some benefits that must be considered if we want to take a full picture of the argument between bottled water and tap water.
Above all, environmental concerns rank highest amongst the issues surrounding the increased usage of single-use plastics as is most common in the bottle-water industry. Today, between 4.8 and 12.7 tonnes of plastic waste enter our oceans annually. This is a staggering statistic, and the impacts on our environmental balance are extraordinarily dangerous.
Anecdotally, many water drinkers report a far higher satisfaction level with the taste and quality of bottled water. However, many recent studies refute this claim, showing that a majority of people can not determine a sizable difference in taste between the two sources.
Estimates have determined that the cost difference between bottled water and tap water can exceed as much as a 2,000% markup for bottled water drinkers, with a gallon of bottled water costing more than three times the cost of a gallon of milk.
Our bottled water regulatory guidelines are set by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), leading to high standards of oversight in the bottling procedures and transportation of bottled water sources. Sanitary conditions are a requirement under these regulations and in exceedingly rare instances, bottled water recall has been required due to contamination.
However, there is growing evidence showing that the effects of plastic contamination on our bottled water could serve a sizable health risk on the general population.
This contamination is believed to exist as a result of the packaging process and scientists are beginning to believe that “microplastics” fall under the category of endocrine-disrupting chemicals known as obesogens. This has been linked to negative effects on the metabolism and reproductive processes of humans, animals, and marine life, as well as contributing to debilitating health factors such as oxidative stress.
Those with weakened immune systems are specifically advised to take particular care before choosing to drink bottled water.
Pros and Cons of Tap Water
While tap water is often viewed by many as the clear alternative to the deficiencies and harms of bottled water contamination, this form of hydration also bears specific pros and cons that must be factored into determining which source of water is best for you and your family.
The selection of tap water over bottled water leads to a sizable positive impact on our ecosystem. By avoiding the spread of single-use plastics and its inevitable migration to our oceans, the decision to select tap water in place of bottled water serves as an undeniably stronger choice for the health of our environment
While some water drinkers report a diminished quality of taste in tap water, the majority of blind taste tests consistently determine that there is little to no detectable difference in taste quality between the two sources of water.
Regardless of the source, many drinkers simply prefer water with mineralization and can often mistakenly attribute that preference to the difference between bottled water and tap water.
In instances where tap water quality may be diminished, this can often be caused by chlorination or lack of mineralization in the source. This can be counteracted through the use of a water-filtration or by using natural flavoring options such as adding a lemon or lime slice or other fruit-infusing techniques.
Tap water is provided by local and regional governments and is therefore either free or a part of your necessary utility bills, therefore resulting in a considerably reduced expense for the average drinker.
While EPA regulated tap-water in the United States is generally accepted as one of the safest forms of drinking water in the world, not all contaminants are subject to regulation and therefore, tap-water can carry a host of dangerous substances and chemicals dependent upon region.
Recently, new findings from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) found over 270 contaminants currently infesting our regional water sources and their projections estimate that these chemicals could lead to over 100,000 future cases of cancer as a direct result of ingesting unfiltered tap water.
These contaminants have also been shown to be specifically harmful to expecting mothers.
Bottled Water Vs. Tap Water: The Bottom Line
When looking at the data, there is a clear cut winner when determining what water source is best for the environment, our health, and our satisfaction with our drinking water.
Tap water ranks well above bottled water in nearly all categories except for taste, which studies show those assertions are often anecdotal and exist without supporting facts.
However, this conclusion must be taken in some context.
While tap water is certainly a stronger solution for almost all categories, studies from the EWG are showing that this water source still carries a whole host of dangerous chemicals and therefore filtration must be supplemented to ensure that our water is as safe to drink as possible.
A portable water purifier like the GOpure Pod, has proven to eliminate large percentages of dangerous chemicals, while maintaining the occurrence of positive minerals and ions that are vital to our health. This simple, inexpensive solution helps close the taste gap between bottled water and tap-water as the purification power leads to cleaner, tastier, and more drinkable water.
The evidence is clear. Tap water is a smarter choice for our bodies, our environment, and our wallets, but not without some supplementation to ensure that our water is as clean and toxin-free as possible.