A mountain glacier, snow-capped mountains, or perhaps a pristine mountain lake are depicted on the label of bottled water. Words like clear, refreshing, healthy, pure, and natural may appear on the label. It is no surprise that the bottled water business is experiencing phenomenal global growth when these images are combined with aggressive marketing campaigns that publicize the benefits of drinking their products. Is bottled water, however, truly superior to tap water? Are you getting anything different, for that matter? This article reflects not only shifting consumer preferences, but also the public’s growing distrust of local water distribution networks.
The public has begun to doubt the safety of local wholesale water supplies as a result of well-publicized contaminated water incidents. Many people believe that the water coming from their tap is unsafe to drink. Advertisements that portray bottled water consumption as a way to avoid possible contamination from pathogens, chemicals, and other nasty constituents found in tap water reinforce this feeling. The advertisements, however, fail to mention that the bottled water you are drinking may come from the same type of municipal water supply you are trying to avoid. In fact, some states in the United States have considered entering the market by selling bottled water directly from their taps.
Tap water delivery uses significantly less energy. Water is pumped through underground pipes and delivered straight to the consumer’s tap. Bottled water is not in the same league. It must be transported from the bottling plant to the consumer. It may also need to be transported from the source to the bottling plant in some cases. This necessitates the use of vehicles that burn a large number of fossil fuels, resulting in pollution and climate change.
People in many parts of the world, particularly the poorest, lack access to a water distribution system. In these situations, they frequently have no choice but to purchase bottled water at exorbitant prices. Although most people in industrialized nations have access to clean, inexpensive water, many still prefer to drink bottled water.
Despite the fact that 1000 liters of tap water cost less than one liter of bottled water, people are willing to pay the higher price because they believe bottled water is safer than tap water. This belief is not supported by the facts, according to experts. Although many people believe that bottled water is more pure and natural than tap water, some bottled water looks more like a manufactured product than something healthy.
Many people claim that bottled water tastes better than tap water because it lacks that chlorine taste. It’s worth noting that a study conducted in New York found that when blind taste tests were conducted, the majority of people preferred New York City municipal water to several leading brands of bottled water. Bottled water is also being preferred by health-conscious consumers over other beverages such as soft drinks, resulting in increased sales.
The bottled water industry is big business, and big global corporations are increasingly dominating it. They’re all selling essentially the same colorless, tasteless, and odorless product, so packaging and promotion are the only ways to distinguish theirs from their competitors’. Unique bottles and appealing labels may persuade consumers to choose one brand over another, but it is the advertising campaigns that can make or break a brand. Some businesses overspend on marketing. In fact, 10 to 15% of the cost of a bottle of water could be used to pay for advertising. In essence, they’re selling the idea that bottled water is pure and hygienic, and that drinking it will make you happy.
Bottled water may be an option for people who do not have access to a safe water system or whose water system does not provide high-quality water. It may also be necessary to drink it when traveling to countries where the tap water is suspected to be contaminated—assuming you trust the bottled water’s safety. As a result, bottled water can meet certain requirements. However, in most cases, especially in some countries, the assumption that it is healthier and safer to drink than tap water does not appear to be correct. In many cases, it appears that people do not even prefer the taste of bottled water to that of tap water.
If you don’t want to drink water straight from the tap, consider installing additional treatment devices in your home or place of business to avoid buying bottles. At the very least, you won’t be contributing to the problems caused by water bottles. If you insist on drinking bottled water, make sure you read the label and understand what you’re getting. By purchasing water from local sources, for example, you are reducing the environmental cost of transporting products over long distances.