Let's talk about tap water and how it compares to bottled water.
The bottled water industry is bigger than the milk industry, and bigger than the coffee industry. In an earlier post I talked about the resources needed to produce a PET plastic water bottle. I didn't even talk about the staggering amount of energy used to ship it. Or the fact that 1/3rd of bottled water is not even pure but contaminated.
Did you know that bottling water is very badly regulated and bottling companies don't need a certification to show that their product is safe to consume?
A big reason us westerners drink bottled water is because we think the quality of our local tap water isn't good enough. But tap water is so well regulated, that some bottled water companies just draw their water from public water sources and sell it as is.
The Water Services Regulation Authority, part of the UK government, makes sure that water and sewerage companies are providing good quality water and services at a fair price. The water is regularly screened for pollutants and the water utilities in the UK provide some of the cleanest water in the world. 68 per cent of the UK's tap water comes from reservoirs, lakes and rivers, the rest from underground sources like aquifers.
I live in London and the tap water here doesn't taste very good, but that doesn’t mean I import my water in plastic bottles from halfway across the world. All tap water in the UK is safe to consume and doesn't need added treatment, but for the flavor, I use water filters. A big one in the fridge and I use a brilliant kettle with a filter function (thank you Brita for your existence).
The downside of these filters is that most general recycling schemes don't take your water filters. Luckily BRITA teamed up with lots of stores to take your used filters back. In the UK, you can do this at Argos, Robert Dyas, Tesco and Homebase stores.
Another option to enjoy your tap water and to be plastic free are charcoal natural water filters. These Japanese bamboo squares or sticks remove impurities and bad taste from your water. They are perfect to bring along when you're travelling as well.