Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Message in a Bottle

I expect that most of us have at one time or another drunk bottled water. The thing is that when I go walking I take a plastic bottle of water with me. It’ll have tap water in it but I did have to buy the bottled water in the first place to get the bottle. This is what is known a Re-Use which is much better than recycling.

Anyway the point of this post is that I received an email titled “Water Disasters” containing a Powerpoint Presentation compiled by PM Architecture in New York and telling me how bad bottled water is for me and the environment and how for e.g. chemicals can leach out of the plastic into the water and cause breast cancer. You can view it here.

Now, I’m not one to take these things at face value and as I’m sitting in front of a huge resource of information known as the Internet, I thought I’d have a look round. Sure enough the bottled water producers and the plastics industry were none too pleased with it.

Tom Lauria, the Vice President for Communications at the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) wrote to PM Architecture to complain. You can read his letter here. They have also produced their own Powerpoint slide show “Thirst for Truth” with the same graphics but a different interpretation, some of which are pretty fundamental Home Truths.

See what you think? Compare the two.

There is also some debunking, although not entirely, on the plastic bottle thing here.

1 comment:

  1. My late father, ex Royal Army Medical Corps Field Hygiene Section, always said stored water was less safe than running tap water.

    And an environmental health officer of my acquaintance said much the same - water stored in a bottle for too long acquires a green tinge especially if stored in sunlight.

    So bottled water, apart from being a rip off, is probably worse for you than tap water, at least in Britain.

    Buying lots of bottled water marks you out as a gullible consumer with more money than sense.

    Tasted blind - ie no labels and the same temperature - tap water tastes the same as bottled. In fact the BBC once showed an enterprising businessman bottling Manchester tap water and selling it at goodness knows how much markup. (It comes from the valleys of the Lake District, so it can't be bad stuff.)

    However, the larger empties make good mini cloches for plants on the allotment. They're a good home for young tomato plants, lettuces etc providing a measure of protection against slugs and snails as well as the chill nights.

    So when neighbour's recycling goes out, take a look for empty water bottles. They'll do more good in your garden than recycled.

    Roger Backhouse

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