It takes approximately 20 million barrels of oil a year to produce the plastic for bottled water. These bottles are also the fastest-growing form of municipal solid waste in Canada and the USA. Every day, 30 million new plastic bottles litter the earth or are put into landfills. Plastic bottles also release highly dangerous toxic chemicals and contaminants into the air and water when they are manufactured and when they deteriorate on the landscape. In contrast, both Winnipeg and Brandon municipal water acquisition must meet provincial and federal environmental standards.
Advertising for bottled water emphasizes its purity and healthfulness, yet bottled water comes from the same source as public water. The difference is, public water is more rigorously tested. According to 2007/2008 data, only 6% of bottled water producers in Canada are inspected. Compare this to public water: the City of Winnipeg tests its water 24 hours a day, and conducts over 3,100 sample tests for bacteria, 70% more than testing standards require. The City of Brandon has recently allocated over $1.2 million to state-of-the-art water treatment plant upgrades, and consistently exceeds federal and provincial regulations.
Bottled water is 240 to 10,000 times more expensive than tap water – even though more than 25% of bottled water originates from municipal tap water systems.
The Hidden Costs of Bottled Water
The Story of Bottled Water
More resources & information: