Peter Gleick, scientist and freshwater expert, talks about his latest book: Bottled and Sold: The Story Behind Our Obsession with Bottled Water.
Tap water is safe almost everywhere in the U.S. It takes far more water to make the plastic bottle than it even holds. Most bottled water is simply water from somebody else's tap! Why on earth does this industry continue to thrive?
Peter H. Gleick is co-founder and president of the Pacific Institute in Oakland, California. Dr. Gleick is an internationally recognized water expert and in 2003 was awarded the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship for his science and policy work on water issues worldwide. In 2006 he was elected to the United States National Academy of Sciences. His research and writing address the critical connections between water and human health, the human right to water, the hydrologic impacts of climate change, sustainable water use, privatization and globalization and international conflicts over water resources.
He serves on the boards of numerous journals and organizations and was elected an Academician of the International Water Academy in Oslo, Norway in 1999. Dr. Gleick is the author of many scientific papers and five books, including the biennial water report The World's Water.
Peter Gleick, author of Bottled and Sold: The Story Behind Our Obsession with Bottled Water, briefly summarizes the economics of shipping recycled plastic to China. Once in China, plastic waste is used to manufacture other products that are then exported back to the U.S.
Any of the entire range of natural waters (vapour, liquid, or solid) that occur on the Earth and that are of potential use to humans. These resources include the waters of the oceans, rivers, and lakes; groundwater and deep subsurface waters; and glaciers and permanent snowfields. Continuing increase in water use has led to growing concern over the availability and quality of water supplies.
@BlogShag: Here, I'm giving you an internet pat on the back. Thank you for recycling.
If your tap water sucks that much, by all means, drink bottled. But while I'm sorry there is apparently fetid sewage spewing out of your faucet, most people have access to perfectly drinkable water from their municipal systems. Many best-selling bottled water brands on the market are essentially just re-bottled tap water themselves, and there's no evidence whatsoever that it's any healthier for you. Besides, I would bet that the #1 reason most people buy bottled isn't for the taste at all, but for the convenience.
The reason for the anti-bottled water backlash is that a huge number of people are paying out the nose for a product they can get for practically free just about anywhere. This would be stupid but harmless if it weren't for the significant environmental impact involved. Although there are people like you and me who recycle our plastic, there are plenty of people who don't, and that's a problem for everyone in the long run. There's also the high environmental cost of transporting all of that water from the bottling line to retail stores.
Criticizing the pointlessness of the product for many customers isn't meant to single out people like you, who drink it because you don't have a better option. It's an effort to reduce consumption of bottled water among the general population that does -- and thus, scale back the product's fairly significant environmental impact. Is that really such a bad thing?
Anyone who has tasted my gross tap water would know why I purchase bottled water. And I recycle my bottles and other people's bottles OK? I can't help that there are so many lazy people in the rich modern countries that don't want to recycle.
In my opinion, on this subject, the people that are stupid are the people on the pedestal that claim to have all the smarts and education. If they want to drink gross tasting tap water, more power to them, but that's the main reason people drink bottled water. IT TASTES AND SMELLS MUCH BETTER.