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Is Bottled Water Bad for the Environment?

Bottled water does not contain any harmful chemicals, but some people (especially environmentalists) are wondering if the production process puts unnecessary strain on the world resources. That’s because bottled water production uses a lot of fossil fuels. The bottle is made of plastic, which must be melted at a high temperature (using machines powered by electricity or gas) and then once it has been filled, it must be delivered (a process that once again relies on fossil fuels. Many bottled water cases are also made of plastic wrap and cardboard which help prevent the contents from being crushed or developing leaks during the transportation process.

Furthermore, the plastic bottles are often discarded and are rarely sent to recycling centers. So there are millions of plastic water bottles that are left in landfills, or even more sadly, thrown into the oceans and rivers by trekkers or vacationers. Like most plastics these bottles take a long time to degrade and will often release toxic fumes.

Environmentalists feel that this is an environmental hazard that can be completely avoided if people did not buy into the marketing myths sold to them by manufacturers, who claim that their water is safer and better than what people would get from the tap. However tests show that whether the water was from some Swiss spring or from the faucet in the kitchen there is hardly any difference in the taste or the quality. Tap water is also very safe because groups like the Environmental Protection Agency have strict rules about water safety and they make sure that water treatment plants are regularly tested.

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