As the bottled water industry grows exponentially in our
Island, so are the lies and deception consumers are fed. Many Jamaicans are being
misled to believe that the highly priced bottled water they are consuming is
actually natural spring water. According to a recent study done by Food
& Water Watch company titled "Take Back the Tap," about 64
percent of bottled water comes from municipal tap water sources.
The study further went
on to reveal that the beverage industry has capitalized on
bottled water sale as a profit centre, and to replace stagnant soft drink sale.
In 2016, bottled water sales surpassed soft drink for the first time as the
largest U.S category by volume. The
marketing hype of drinking several gallons of bottled water a day to be in good
health, is one of their latest marketing strategies
What most people purchased
as natural spring water, is basically filtered piped or tap water. The bottled
water industry has promoted its product as the way to good health and a clean
diet, as a result targeting health conscious individual. In addition, many
skeptics believed that they also subtly suggest that bottled water is superior
to tap water during their campaign and advertisements. This is the reason
several persons tend to avoid drinking water from the tap and stock up on
It’s not that I am
saying that drinking water will not improve your health, but misleading people
to think that they are paying for naturally pure water is totally unethical.
Furthermore, the health implications of drinking bottled water when
compared to drinking tap water are mind boggling. Various studies have revealed
that, bottled water have been supplemented with certain mineral such as Sodium
and Potassium, causing increase levels of these elements that are harmful for
people at risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Increase temperatures of bottled water when left in a
hot car or other environment, is responsible for the release of antimony from
polyethylene terephthalate plastics used for water bottles. Antimony is a
regulated contaminant that can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and even chronic
health effects in drinking water. Additionally, over consuming certain minerals like
Fluoride can harm our bodies. For instance, levels of fluoride above 1.5 mg/L
would increase our risk of dental fluorosis, despite its benefits in protecting
us from tooth decay. It is a concern that bottled water contains fluoride
levels that are 12% to 218% of the recommended daily intake, much higher than
that of tap water (0% to 62%)
Needless to say, that plastic bottles don’t do good
for our environment either. Most times these products end up in our drains,
rivers and oceans. This creates a myriad of environmental health challenges in
our country such as flooding and solid waste management issues. A 2017 study
calculated that 18 trillion pounds of plastic has been produced globally
between 1960 and 2015, 79 percent of which (about 14 trillion) has accumulated
in landfills or natural environment including in our oceans.
In conclusion, deceiving the public to think they are
purchasing one thing while being sold something different is never acceptable
and is totally unethical.
Where does your bottled water comes from?