Yes, you read that right, bottled water is a must-no-no if you care about your environment. The environmental damage caused by bottled water is worse and no comparison with a glass of tap water.
Research published in The Journal of Science of the Total Environment indicates that water packed in bottles/mineral water has 1,400 times more harmful effects than tap water causes. Also, the Barcelona Institute of Global Health researchers say that the extraction cost of resources for bottled water is 3,500 times higher than for those consuming municipal water, $83.9m in a year.
Drinking tap water can cause a small risk of bladder cancer as water treatment generates low levels of trihalomethanes (THM), harmful for health and can lead to bladder cancer.
The increasing demand for bottled water is a concern in Barcelona even after the safety of tap water for drinking purposes is improved. Buying mineral water or health benefits is not justified because though tap water is harmful to local health, bottled water also does no good, both have the same weight, told lead study author and Barcelona Institute researcher Cristina Villanueva to The Guardian. Additionally, water packed in plastic bottles is disastrous for the environment.
As in the US, it requires 17 million barrels of oil to produce plastic bottles, and in the UK, bottled water is 500 times more expensive than tap water, implying that the problem stands far beyond Barcelona.
It is the first kind of study but is not enough to minimize the environmental impacts, and therefore, policies require change and addition. The advertisers are doing good on their side but similar efforts are needed to unveil the reality.