For countries without clean water, the effort should be put into getting municipal water supplies.
Don't buy plastic disposable water bottles if you live in a developed nation. They prop up a terrible industry, generate tons of waste, use tons of oil and it's less clean than just drinking from a water fountain.
Edit: the documentary Tapped is a great film about the bottled water industry, and Blue Gold is a good one about the water industry in general.
What's wrong with using tons of oil? It's not being burnt so it doesn't contribute to climate change. Are you concerned that it's wasting the valuable oil that would be better used to power a car or power station?
Instead of having a VLCC bringing crude to a Gulf Coast refinery where a large part is converted into propylene for bottle and cap production, the crude could be kept safely in its original well, unused. If the demand for propylene (et al) is reduced, refiners would alter their production to make less, ultimately lowering their crude intake, ceteris paribus.
Plastics are incredibly useful. Tons upon tons of bottles end up in landfills, oceans, etc. Even with plastic recycling, PET yields aren't 100%. There is only so much oil and eventually the plastics we have will cease to be recyclable.
I'm not trying to say that it's wrong to use a disposable plastic bottle from time to time. There's not anything wrong with having a case of water. But no one with access to clean water should primarily use disposable bottles. It's lazy and shortsighted.
Of course, all of your other points are spot on. It is irresponsible to use such a permanent material for so much disposable stuff.
Powered by what? Oil?
What's the efficiency of that? How long are you willing to wait if you don't use combustible carbons?
Most plastic bottles are burnt, so they do contribute to climate change; the small percentage of bottles that actually are recycled cannot be turned into new bottles --- plastics are always downcycled; recycled plastics are sometimes mixed in with virgin plastic pellets, but it's usually a relatively small amount of the total.
(I'm setting up an educational project for school classes on the topic of plastic recycling and renewable energy.)
It's non-sequitur to say that the process is not wasteful because part of the initial work is done to obtain gasoline. Oil itself is a limited resource.
If it is correct that it will become increasingly uneconomical to process crude oil, the supply of virgin plastic will eventually decrease. It makes sense to reduce wasteful usage of that resource before that becomes a problem.
Not for thermal energy, but it is still being heated and the bits of the hydrocarbon chain that are not wanted are going... where? The process still uses energy and iirc most of the world, particularly where manufacturing occurs, is not using renewables. Maybe Nuclear if you're lucky.
Those standards are also very loose IMO letting a lot of crap though that I don't want to drink on a regular basis. So, it's really more of a mixed bag than you might think.
I´m playing with semantics here. But some parts of USA hardly count as developed states. As a country, the USA is overachieving in a lot of measures, but individual states found themselves at the same level than developing nations.
It´s difficult to apply the same rule to 10,000,000km2 of territory and 325 Million people.
I am pretty sure ingesting plastic sand would be nowhere newer bad without these. (Intestine shouldn't take that in.)
These are extra hard to filter out. Even big fermentation tanks and reverse osmosis filters have problems with this.
I know HN is very leftist, so I expect downvotes. It'd be nice to have a discussion though.
So "Europe" is maybe a broad term here.
Would love to hear about systematic issues in Sweden, Germany, Norway, France, Belgium, Switzerland etc. All have strong government role in regulation and municipal water supplies.
Your comment implying political bias for everyone who disagrees with you is cheap rhetoric. And, the US is so far right on the political spectrum that anyone “leftist” there is likely to the right of the center in the EU.
All you have shown is that Czech government needs to improve.
Edit: And it certainly isn't comparable to having water that's not safe to drink at all (bad water being the rule, rather than the exception).
In well-developed countries, bottled water is easy money: move to a friendly jurisdiction, ship a transportable product out, and sell to a self-selecting, discretionary customer base at obscene markups. It's pure profit.
In less-developed countries, bottled water is enabled by and further perpetuates structural inequality: it provides clean water to those who are willing and able pay for it, without the infrastructure and maintenance load of municipal piping, dealing with governments, or having to be exposed to risks that coincide with this inequality, including theft, leaks, and distributed contamination.
Maybe in the US, it can be solved on a city-by-city basis. For some other countries, I think it's a much more complex problem.
I mean, I'd call HAV "really sick". Even for people who clear the infection without assistance and no long-term complications, it's rather involved and goes far beyond simply "ruin your vacation".
People on Brazil will always tell you to drink bottled water too, yet all the safety issues that make into news (always a very small note at the end of the news) are with bottled water and the sanitary standards are much more strict with tap water.
I drink a little bit of public water in asia or africa from time to time because I'm lazy. 99% of the time it's fine. But when it's not, it's heavy brown pants time, and I'm much, MUCH more tolerant than the average white guy when it comes to food poisoning because I traveled so much. In some countries (E.G venezuala), you can get amoebas out of it. And it's really annoying.
So basically yes, bottled water (and check the seal), or soda.
In some countries (e.g mali, sri lanka), they have water pockets, basically small plastic "balloons" of water than you bite then drink from. It uses less plastic than bottles, but yeah, it still finds it's way into the sea.
Hence recommending bottled water, as a precaution to prevent exposure. However, in reality everything around you has been washed, cleaned, laundered, or cooked in local water. And your shower/bath will not be in bottled water. So your exposure is still there, just lessened. Not to mention people that drink bottled water, but poor it into a glass of ice (which was created from non-bottled, local water).
Being from that neck of the woods, it's reality. My brother (coming from the U.S. to visit) was hospitalized for days when he was 5-6 because he ate some food off a plate that had been washed in the local water.
And until the problem has been fixed, what exactly are they supposed to drink?
In Thailand for example, they have vending machines dispensing drinking water into your own bottle.
Including the specific words since I got more nonsense results doing this search than about any other this year. Terms are too overloaded.
I started using mine for drinking water after Scott Pruitt was confirmed.
To avoid drinking "delicious" tap water I drink bottled water, and I have for decades. Also, fluoride in the tap water? No, thank you. I don't get cavities because I eat well and brush correctly.
Drink it until you get used to it, people are remarkably adaptable and will get used to just about anything if they're exposed to it long enough. In the case of water a month should be more than enough.
You go to a restaurant, they insist on infinite refill on that bad tasting water...
I'm seriously not surprised with so called "Raw Water" movement in US.
The people in my city that have city water often complain about cloudy water, so it's not any better (maybe worst).
Psychology is one. Many blind tests of tap water filled in bottles has people fooled.
Temperature is another. Ice cool water, from office water coolers, or just with ice cubes. Partially again psychology but cool water tastes better, tap or not.
Source and water treatment obviously matters the most. In my experience tap water in Norway tastes really nice. It is where I grew up so my taste buds expect water to taste like that so that may be a reason, but I think it is also down to the source of the water and its filtration technology. And it is cold water. I only choose to drink bottled water there when it is more convenient, not for flavour. (Other mountainous, water-rich 1st world countries I have been to also seems to have nice flavoured water).
But where I live now, in another flat, full of people country, the tap water is very safe and clean but I do not like the flavour. I still drink it to quench a thirst but prefer bottled when there is a choice.
So I guess for large parts of the world the flavour will be decided by where they live.
Filters like https://www.brita.com probably makes it nicer but at an individual cost and less convenient.
Sure it’s totally subjective and anecdata, but my sample size is over 100 brands in 20+ countries.
Me too, but NYC is a major outlier when it comes to water quality. NYC water was, quite literally, sold as bottled water for a while.
Most other places in the country have nowhere near the quality of tap water that NYC has.
Food (or drink :) for thought!
All of these are life-changing and won't kill you on short order. I think these kinds of damages are more pernicious as they're less obvious but still impact your quality of life, and maybe more so than living in a developing country.
If you can't get the plastics out of the water you can't get the other chemicals out, because the plastic has already grabbed it.
"believed to be microplastics"
"there is a chance the Nile Red dye is adhering to another unknown substance other than plastic."
So it may, or may not be microplastics that they found/counted.
Key point: they're unsure about the smaller particles, but they're sure about the bigger ones. There is microplastics in the samples.
There isn't a whole lot to "manufacturing" water.
This is just our devouring of the planet, nothing to see here. Now reinsert head in ass and press play.
I wish there had been more European water brands tested, as out of this list I only know Evian and San Pellegrino, and they are the two least contaminated brands, but they are also a bit more upscale than what most people drink.
You'd think that if you're running an industrial plant (at a scale where multi-stage filters, centrifugal separation, etc, etc are economically viable) you'd be able to do a heck of a lot better than 10 100 micron particles per liter.
"Even the simple act of opening the cap could cause plastic to be chipping off the cap," Mason said."
> "There is nowhere really where you can say these are being trapped 100%. In terms of fibres, the diameter is 10 microns across and it would be very unusual to find that level of filtration in our drinking water systems.” With that being said, we know that the berkey can filter down to 2 microns and less, so until testing is done, we can only state that the berkey would be filtering out more of these microplastics than your town's municipal water filtering system
I had more or less switched entirely off bottled water and now only use a combination of filtered tap water + reusable insulated bottles ala Kleen Kanteen at home and work, but I have recently started buying more sparkling water / club soda in an attempt to ween myself off Coke.
Perhaps it's time I take the plunge and buy a SodaStream or comparable water carbonator.
For bottled water, I get the bottles made of rigid plastic that may have less chance of leaching chemicals over a short period of time. Only time will tell if I chose correctly.
I have a hard time believing a movie scene played out in the 7-11 with everyone staring at you for buying a bottle of water.
Or, if you looked around and people were crinkling their eyebrows at you, I wouldn't assume it was because of the bottled water.
We can all stop buying bottled water. It won't solve every problem, but it will solve a lot of this one, while saving you money and focusing people on cleaning your current sources.
I'll have to add "microplastic" as another one of my favorite spices.
I suspect it’s not just what’s in the water but the bottle itself that’s not good.
Naah, water is usually bottled locally, they tested some brands in:
U.S., Kenya, China, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Lebanon, Mexico and Thailand
(and called it "global"), but a same brand may - even in the same country - come from a different spring or bottling plant, so you are never "safe" (nor "in danger") because of this or that brand.
Just in case the actual "paper" (actualy only a "report"):
And as a side note/observation, the classification of any plastic particle smaller than 5 millimeters as "microplastics" has been given (and it makes sense) in the context of marine/ocean related sciences:
it makes (to me) little sense to call "micro" anything that can be seen by the naked eye in the context of impurities in a bottle of water.
Come on, they are nearly the size of marbles we played with as kids ...
Yes, that applies to San Pellegrino (and most probably Evian also) but San Pellegrino (the company, which is anyway Nestlè) has 6 bottling plants in Italy:
While it is true that San Pellegrino brand water is exclusively coming from San Pellegrino (and as well Acqua Panna comes from Scarperia only and Levissima comes from Cepina Valdisotto only) the other three plants are anyway marked as "Nestlè Vera" (with of course a distincion on the spring, respectively "fonte in Bosco", "fonte Santa Rosalia", "fonte Naturae").
I believe (possibly I am wrong) that in many (non-EU) countries the bottled water is more like a "pure brand" than a "specific spring".
See page 63 of this .pdf:
Source: A friend of mine brokers deals with producers to rebrand them as Kirkland products. Perishables like 'Kirkland' Ham, 'Kirkland' Cheese, 'Kirkland' Ice Cream are packaged by different companies depending on the Costco (Costco Canada, Costco East Coast, Costco West Coast). Where as other stuff like 'Kirkland' jeans are brokered globally. Water likely falls at the national/regional level with one of the major brands, so 'Kirkland' water in Canada is likely a different kind of 'Kirkland' water sold in California.