Bottle or Tap?
I love to hike in national and local parks, and have come to the conclusion that the single most ubiquitous source of litter is the discarded plastic water bottle. You may find some of the facts regarding this persistent icon of convenient modernity interesting.
Bottled water is the single largest growth area among all beverages, that includes alcohol, juices and soft drinks. Per capita consumption has more than doubled over the last decade, from 10.5 gallons in 1993 to 22.6 in 2003, according to the Beverage Marketing Corporation. Most bottled water is consumed away from home, usually at a park, in an office or even while driving — areas where there's usually no recycling. This makes it far less likely to wind up as litter or trash rather than in a recycle bin.
America’s thirst for bottled water seems unquenchable, reaching nearly 30 billion bottles a year,” says U.S.News & World Report. Many consumers do not realize, however, that most bottled water is simply tap water, so “anyone who is opting for bottled over municipal [water] for health reasons is misguided,” says the magazine. What flows out of the tap in many countries is monitored to ensure conformity to strict standards. And when compared with the “outrageously expensive” bottled alternatives, tap water is also “practically free!
Let's compare the price of bottled water to tap water. If you purchase a 20 ounce size bottled water, that works out to 5 cents an ounce. Most municipal water costs less than one cent per gallon. Gas at the pump is a bargain compared to the price of bottled water. At $3 per gallon, the price of gasoline is just over 2 cents an ounce!
So, bottled or tap?