1. Poland Spring water is not actually from Maine’s Poland Spring

The brand was acquired by Perrier in 1980, which was then purchased by Nestle in 1992. Nestle doesn’t disclose which of their many owned springs are being used in their bottled water. Scientists aren’t even convinced that their water qualifies as “spring water” because it is pumped from deep beneath the ground. Class action lawsuits were filed in Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Jersey complaining that Nestle and the Poland Spring brand misleads their customers by using deceptive and convincing advertising.

2. Bottled water is held to lower standards than tap water

Bottled water is regulated by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) while tap water is monitored by more stringent EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). The Safe Drinking Water Act requires the EPA to hold municipal water to a higher standard than bottled water. The EPA consistently tests tap water for bacteria like E. Coli and regulators are required to provide accurate information on the water’s source. The FDA regulates bottled water as if it is a food. As a result, the FDA cannot actively control bottled water companies to meet any of the qualifications the EPA regulates.

3. It takes three times the amount of water to produce a plastic bottle than it does to fill it

Unfortunately the waste doesn’t stop there. Only a quarter of these plastic bottles are recycled by consumers annually. It also takes about a barrel of oil to make a ton of the PET plastic bottles. When they are not recycled, plastic bottles take over 1,000 years to biodegrade.

bottled water

Photo courtesy of ABC News

4. 25% to 40% of bottled water is taken from municipal taps

However the bottled water industry, led by Coca Cola (Dasani), Nestle (Pure Life, Poland Spring), and PepsiCo (Aquafina), has demonized tap water as unhealthy and potentially hazardous to consumers to further market their own water. Tap water is treated with chlorine to kill all the bacteria, and most Brita filters can remove any taste residue. Any water bottle that is labeled as “purified” or “drinking water” means that it is most likely from a municipal tap.

5. Global bottled water consumption is increasing at an annual rate of 10%

Most of this demand is driven by consumption in the Americas and Asia. In 2008. the United States collectively drank 9 billion gallons of bottled water. That’s an average of 30 gallons per person.

6. Drinking bottled water tightens the corporate hold on national drinking water

When there is a reliance on bottled water, it causes consumers to ignore their municipal water systems, effectively letting these water systems to deteriorate. Bottled water is not the answer, and it most likely feeds the problem of contaminated water systems abroad.