The Flaws of Bottled Water Essay

Liquid Asset Bottled water companies are industries that cause detremental damage to the environment and its customers. But according to law and American economics, they are doing nothing wrong. They are an ever-expanding industry generating record profits. In America and the rest of the world, economic growth is the epitome of great modernized success. Yes, the companies are over using a lot of fossil fuels such as crude oil and natural gas. Yes, they are ruining ecosystems by draining water tables until they are arid, dry and unable to support growth.

Yes, the bottled water is full of chemicals such as arsenic and bisphenol a. But, after all this, the companies are merely meeting the demands of the customers. The bottle industries have every constitutional right to do what they do. Its not just bottled water companies that pollute and waste, all industries do it. So, economically, it would be unfair to prohibit the bottle companies from doing business. The bottled water companies aren’t the criminals; the criminals are the ignorant consumers of America, who with each bottle purchased are supporting the destruction and forcing companies to do the harm that they do.

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Bottling water requires an immeasurable amount of fossil fuels. Not only the bottles themselves, but the entire manufacturing process from mountain spring to 7-Eleven shelf. First the bottles must be made. The bottles themselves are made of plastic. They are also “disposable” meaning the bottles are designed to be used once. Unfortunately the bottles designed to be used once are made out of PET plastic which lasts for 100s of years after those ten minutes of use. According to Meghan O’Rourke, author of Water Water Everywhere, “PET is a flexible, durable, light plastic that “revolutionized” the industry…

It turned water into an anywhere, anytime beverage. ” At least PET is recyclable, so the bottles can be reused again. But the little hard plastic caps are not. The new plastic bottles then must be wrapped in plastic in the form of labels and the packaging the cases of bottles come in. Now the largely unnecessary oil based plastic bottles must be filled. There are 2 types of water meant for bottling. Some companies pull water from mountain springs in far away places, and some companies pull it right out of the municipal source in the city that factory is located.

Spring water consumes much more fossil fuels in production. First trucks must drive out into remote areas to find ground water, then they must drill and pump the water to the surface. The water is then loaded onto trucks. Driving a truck completely full of something as heavy as water cuts gas mileage down to a few miles a gallon. The trucks take the water to be distributed across the country and globe. Some of it is loaded onto other trucks and driven elsewhere, but some of it must be loaded on to cargo boats and shipped across the ocean.

Once the boat arrives in the harbor, the water then gets loaded onto another truck and driven some more. The bottles then sit in a refrigerator for days and days on end, consuming a tremendous amount of electricity. It is estimated that it takes a half a water bottles full of oil to produce one water bottle full of water. Those numbers and this process are beyond absurd. Instead of shipping water to countries that actually need water for survival; we ship water back to the United States for choices in our bottled water.

We should be shipping water bottles to countries that don’t have indoor plumbing with clean pure running water. Unfortunately, oil isn’t the only liquid drained from the Earth in the production of water bottles. Oil makes up 50% of the ingredients in bottle water while water makes up the other 50%. Rivers and lakes are beyond contaminated, full of pollution, fertilizers and biochemicals. We cannot collect river or lake water to bottle, it is too dirty. Below Earths surface is home to millions of gallons of clean, pure, fresh potable water.

Water companies both municipal and bottled must pump water from underground. This practice isn’t bad or morally wrong. It is something humans have been doing forever. Imagine the classic stone well with the little bucket, but now we are doing it on a much larger scale, with machines pumping a thousand gallons a minute. The problem arises at this inordinate rate. Water, in theory, is renewable. It comes back. But when you rapidly empty out a source of groundwater, the entire surrounding ecosystem suffers. We take more then we need. We take more then the ecosystem can support.

When the ground water runs out, the rivers and streams dry up. When the streams stop flowing, the trees and animals have no water for themselves. Species by species the ecosystem starts to die and transition to a semi-arid desert ecosystem. The biodiversity in an environment gets completely disrupted, which in time will come around and effect humans too. The bottle water companies are aware of what they are doing, they don’t care though. In the film Tapped, all the representatives from beverage companies in total denial of the destruction they were causing.

The companies deplete a source of water, and move onto the next one, then the next. The consumers are aware of this too, but obviously don’t care and continue to buy water and support this global destruction. It is apparent people don’t care about their excess consumption of oil. Lets put that issue aside. And not many people really care about nature; or the environment. Let’s throw that problem out the window too. What would it take for people to start actually caring about the destruction bottle water companies’ cause? What do people care about the most?

The best answer to this question would be most people care only about themselves. People only care about things that negatively affect their direct personal lives. By drinking bottled water, one isn’t only depleting resources, and killing the environment; most impotently they are killing themselves. The chemicals in the plastic of a bottle have a tremendous effect on human health. The bottle sits in plastic for months, maybe even years. The plastic leaches chemicals such as PET and BPA into the water. BPA is biphenol-A. Biphenol is a cancer-causing chemical.

It has been shown to cause ADHD in youth and alters blood pressure in adults. BPA is an endocrine disruptor. An endocrine disruptor mimics estrogen. If a human consumes mass amounts of BPA, the synthetic estrogen alters human hormones. Canada has banned BPA. The US knows it is a toxic substance but has only banned it in baby bottles. BPA is in everything we eat and drink, unless it is organically grown and never stored in or near plastic, which is now virtually impossible. Unfortunately there is a myth that bottled water is safer and cleaner then tap water.

This is definetly untrue. People aren’t aware of the chemical soup they are sipping from every time they crack open an Arrowhead water bottle. One might ask themselves, how are these companies getting away with all this? Why are they allowed to kill the environment? Why are they allowed to poison people? Its simply because the people are asking for it. According to US law, an industry has every right to meet the demands of its customers. The people are demanding to be poisoned. The people are asking for the environment to be destroyed.

The people want to get ripped off and pay 6 dollars a gallon for something that is basically free. When consumers stop buying the harmful product, the company stops making the harmful product. When the company stops production, there is no more harmful product. When there is no product there is no company. When there is no company, the destruction stops. When the destruction stops, the problem is solved. People need to stop acting like victims of the market. They need to stop blaming the corporations for destruction, while continuing the use of the product responsible for the destruction.

The question of concern isn’t whether the bottled water companies should have the right to do what they do. Because by our countries outdated laws, they do. It’s the consumers who shouldn’t have the right to do what they do. Buy, consume, and waste. Americans shouldn’t have the rights to a free market. We are an irresponsible race of savages raping and pillaging the rest of the planets people and ecosystems. The natural rights to “life, liberty and happiness/possessions” are the real flaws. Businesses don’t need or have ethics, they just need profit.

It’s the every day commoner who should have the morals and ethics. The businesses just want the money. The humans should be the ones to want a healthy sustainable life and world. They make the decisions with each purchase. They cast the votes. And they are the ones who will suffer from their poor choices they are making. It isn’t the bottle water company’s faults. The fault lies in those who support the destruction of the planet and themselves, while wasting money and resources, by continuing to buy bottled water.

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