by April Muir

June 2, 2015

Most of us have been drinking bottled water for years. We walk around drinking a bottle of what we think is a pure-clean-fresh beverage, silently patting ourselves on the back for not choosing a sugary soda alternative.

Truth is, we are not doing ourselves, our budget and especially our environment any favors. The more we researched the pros and cons of bottled water, the more we became aware of many great reasons to find a smarter, healthier alternative. So we begin by comparing bottled water vs tap water.

Not Always a Healthy Choice

Research suggests there are many scams in the bottled water market today. Before you spend good money and give this “healthy water” to your children, do your homework and find out if you are really getting what you bargained for.

An Exploding Bottled Water Market

There has been an explosion in bottled water use in the United States, driven in large measure by marketing designed to convince the public of bottled water’s purity and safety, and capitalizing on public concern about tap water quality. People spend from 240 to over 10,000 times more per gallon for bottled water than they typically do for tap water.

Some of this marketing is misleading, implying the water comes from pristine sources when it does not. For example, one brand of “spring water” whose label pictured a lake and mountains actually came from a well in an industrial facility’s parking lot, near a hazardous waste dump, and periodically was contaminated with industrial chemicals at levels above FDA standards.

According to government and industry estimates, about one fourth of bottled water is bottled tap water (and by some accounts, as much as 40 percent is derived from tap water) — sometimes with additional treatment, sometimes not.

Major Regulatory Gaps

FDA’s rules completely exempt 60-70 percent of the bottled water sold in the United States from the agency’s bottled water standards, because FDA says its rules do not apply to water packaged and sold within the same state. Nearly 40 states say they do regulate such waters (generally with few or no resources dedicated to policing this); therefore, about one out of five states do not.

FDA also exempts “carbonated water,” “seltzer,” and many other waters sold in bottles from its bottled water standards, applying only vague general sanitation rules which set no specific contamination limits. Fewer than half of the states require these waters to meet bottled water standards.

Enough said.

strong>Less than cost effective

Is bottled water cost effective? Not really. Not even close. Take a look at what Americans are spending on bottled water and what large manufacturers, such as the Coke and Pepsi corporations, are making each year.

Walk into a Speedy Mart in Anytown, USA and you’ll pay an average of $1.45 for a bottle of water.

They vary in price and size; from location to location. Much cheaper at your local “big box-mart” than the corner convenience store. But these stats are astounding. Good news if you work for Pepsi or Coke who each sell over 3.36 billion bottles of water annually and make a profit of at least $336 million each year.

Bottled Water Statistics as of April 2015

Total Average plastic bottles per person annually: 167
Total amount of cases of water sold in the U.S. annually: 2.6 billion
Total amount U.S. spends on bottled water annually: $11.8 billion
Total number of cases of water sold in the U.S. annually: 2.6 billion
Total Global Water Bottle sales annually: $60 billion
Total combined profit made by Coke and Pepsi each year: $672 million

How Sagan provides “the smart choice”

Purchasing the AquaBrick Water Filtration System from Sagan costs about $249. This efficient water filter will purify up to 700 gallons of the most turbid water – save the environment from about 5, 301 plastic water bottles and deliver the purest drinking water you can provide your family. And it’s going to cost about .35 per gallon. That’s per gallon. Now if you consider that each gallon (128 oz) is equivalent to about 8 water bottles; well that’s about .04 per bottle. Four cents – per bottle.

Bottled Water = More Trash.

The toll on our environment is inexcusable.

Despite organized anti-bottled-water campaigns across the country and a noisy debate about bottled water’s environmental impact, Americans are buying more bottled water than ever.

In 2015, total bottled water sales in the U.S. hit $11.8 billion. — An average of 167 bottles of bottled water per person, according to sales figures from Beverage Marketing Corp.

“Americans are drinking more bottled water because they find it convenient, appealing and also healthy,” says Gary Hemphill, who is managing director for information services at Beverage Marketing, and a longtime observer of bottled water and beverage sales in the U.S. and around the world.

Oil Consumption

According to “National Geographic,” Americans drink more bottled water than any other nation, purchasing an impressive 29 billion bottles every year. Making all the plastic for those bottles uses 17 million barrels of crude oil annually. That is equivalent to the fuel needed to keep 1 million vehicles on the road for 12 months. If you were to fill one quarter of a plastic water bottle with oil, you would be looking at roughly the amount used to produce that bottle.

Recycling

The recycling rate for those 29 billion bottles of water is low; only about 13 percent end up in the recycling stream where they are turned into products like fleece clothing, carpeting, decking, playground equipment and new containers and bottles. In 2005, that meant approximately 2 million tons of water bottles ended up in U.S. landfills, according to the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) Plastic bottles take centuries to decompose and if they are incinerated, toxic byproducts, such as chlorine gas and ash containing heavy metals, are released into the atmosphere.

Sagan Offers Solutions

Concerned about the impact our current actions will have on our children’s world. So are we. Using Sagan water filters will definitely have a positive impact on your personal health and our environment.