Beaches are beautifully serene places. Imagine waves rolling in over a beautiful white sand beach in a calming splash. Relaxing, no?
Now imagine a place where the sand is covered in plastic debris – all of which was fluttering through the ocean before it arrived on said beach. It’s a starkly different picture.
This year about 480 billion bottles of plastic will be produced and less than 10% of them will be recycled. The remaining 90% will end up somewhere – whether discarded in nature or in landfills – where it breaks down into microplastic and ends up in our groundwater, rivers and eventually lakes and oceans. In addition to plastic pollution, bottled water also has an enormous carbon footprint from production and transportation.
And the problem is getting worse as bottled water consumption is growing, all while households may already have access to a clear and present solution – their tap.
Unfortunately, some people are afraid to drink from the tap. A survey of 1500 households in the US and Europe found a growing mistrust in tap water. The concerns are based on a myriad of factors including multiple water crises like the one in Flint, Michigan, the water database by EWG and microplastics reported in tap water by Orbs, preference in taste, health expert opinions, bottled water advertising, and urban myths.
There is also a misconception around recycling, mineral water, and everything else related to bottled water. And so more people are turning to bottled water.
In New York, which has some of the cleanest tap water in the world, 31% of households now consume more than 500 bottles of water per year.
So has tap water gotten worse in the past ten years? We interviewed water scientists, institutes and suppliers of tap water and plowed through hundreds of studies on the health risks of tap water. Our conclusion? There are new challenges thanks to better measurement equipment and contamination of freshwater sources, but generally, tap water has gotten better in both Europe and the US over the last ten years. More importantly, there is no scientific evidence that bottled water is healthier than tap water.
The disconnect between perception and reality is precisely why we started Tapp Water as an initiative to educate people about tap water and come up with solutions to provide fresh and clean tap water in affordable and environmentally friendly ways. Our goal is to eliminate 1 billion bottles of plastic by 2020 by convincing 2 million people to give up bottled water and simply utilize the water that they already have available to them via their tap.
Here’s what we recommend:
1. Drink tap water – it’s almost free and in most places in Europe and North America it’s as healthy and clean as bottled water. 2. Anyone worried about the quality of the tap water or who doesn’t like the taste can use a water filter costing as little as $5 per month. 3. Always bring a refillable water bottle to stay hydrated. 4. Ask for tap water in restaurants and bars.
It’s time to stop polluting the environment with plastic and to clean up the oceans. This way our children and grandchildren can enjoy clean oceans full of life and plastic free sand beneath their feet on the beach.
To find out more about our latest initiatives, check out our website here.