Bottled Water: Myths & Facts
MYTH: Bottled water is not as safe as tap water.
FACT: Bottled water and tap water are highly regulated. Bottled water is strictly regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which imposes standards for bottled water that are as stringent and protective of public health as those set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for public drinking water systems. In addition to federal regulations, many states also impose their own regulations on the production of bottled water. All bottled water sold in the U.S. must comply with rigorous federal requirements for safety, quality and labeling.
MYTH: Bottled water is in competition with municipal water systems.
FACT: Tap water serves a variety of purposes in the typical U.S. household, including personal hygiene, clothes and dish washing, cooking, cleaning, irrigation and drinking. Bottled water is simply another option for consumers depending on their own needs and preference.
Water is the primary ingredient in many of the beverage industry’s products and, therefore, a strong municipal water system is very important to us. Just like homeowners, we are customers of the municipal water supply, and we support its strength and viability. We wouldn’t be able to make our many different beverage products without a strong, viable local water supply.
MYTH: Most plastic water bottles end up in the waste stream.
FACT: The beverage industry’s containers are among the most recycled consumer product packaging in the nation, and are accepted in virtually all curbside and drop-off recycling programs. In fact. bottled water containers account for less than one-third of 1 percent of all waste produced in the United States. Furthermore, water, like many other food and beverage products, is packaged in polyethyl terephthalate (PET) plastic, which is one of the most recycled plastic resins worldwide.
The beverage industry agrees, however, that more needs to be done to educate consumers about the importance of recycling. For more information on our commitment to recycling, visit our recycling minisite.
MYTH: The beverage industry uses an inordinate amount of water to make its products.
FACT: While water is a key ingredient in all of our products, the beverage industry actually uses a minimal amount of water compared to other industries. In fact, we account for only 3/100th of 1 percent of all public water usage, or about 1 gallon out of every 3,300 gallons withdrawn from ground or surface water sources.
MYTH: Bottled water costs thousands of times more than tap water.
FACT: Water is not free – ever public, government-supported water supplies come at a price to consumers who use these resources. Furthermore, bottle water companies do not simply “bottle” tap or spring water. Rather, they incur significant production and operational costs to bring bottled water to market in a safe, government-approved manner. For example, purified water is created through highly sophisticated purification systems, such as distillation, deionization and reverse osmosis, all of which are designed to remove impurities and enhance the taste and flavor profile. Likewise, a significant investment is made in developing, maintaining and testing spring water sources to ensure the integrity of bottled water.