How did we become so brainwashed in America to spend so much money on water? A new piece by Vox explores how corporate America convinced us to spend so much money on water, a natural resource.

Source: TEDx Talks/YouTube

The idea of packaged water was first introduced in the 1970s, Gary Hemphill, managing director of research at the Beverage Marketing Corporation, told Vox. This was when we began to use PET plastic to make water bottles.

“It was really the ’90s when bottled water started to take off,” Hemphill said. Since then, plastic bottles have taken off, and it is now estimated that Americans buy billions of plastic water bottles each year.

Water bottle companies try to lure people in to make money off of something that they already accessible and available in their homes. They market it as healthier and better than tap water, which often it isn’t. Of course, there are huge problems with access to clean water in parts of the United States, but much of this is actually due to the greed of water bottling companies.

Mexico is experiencing a dangerous drought as drink companies continue to use billions of liters of water. The drought in Northern Mexico is so bad that taps are dry in the city of Monterrey. Pipas, or water delivery trucks, are the only way for the community to get water. As many people can’t afford water bottles, the public is growing increasingly angry at companies like Coca-Cola and Heineken that are taking billions of liters of water from public reservoirs, according to a Guardian piece.

Water bottle companies lure people in with their images, promises of purity, and marketing as a healthy alternative to tap water, Vox reports.

“People view it as the ultimate health beverage,” Hemphill told Vox.

Another huge problem, as Vox reports, is the convenience of disposable water bottles. If you’re out, it’s easy to buy a water bottle, and there are little to no safe and functioning water fountains around.

While people have valid concerns about drinking water from the faucet of their homes, there is no guarantee that bottled water is safer. Studies have found that microplastics leach out of these plastic bottles, and we consume them when drinking.

PET plastic is the most common plastic used for water bottles and plastic packagingA recent study from Brunel University London found that recycled Polyethylene (PET) leached higher levels of chemicals into drinks than new PET containers did. The bottles become degraded over time, and this is just another reason why recycling won’t solve our problems. These companies are bragging that their bottles are 100 percent recyclable and even help keep plastic out of landfills because they “care about you & our planet.”

Source: WION/YouTube

These companies cannot get away with lying to the public and consumers about their products. Study after study has found that drinking bottled drinks is bad for your health and does nothing but harm the environment and contribute to plastic pollution.

According to Business Insidertap water is tested more often for its quality than bottled water. It was also discovered that almost half of bottled water comes from the tap, and most people can’t even tell the difference in terms of taste. If, however, you live in a rural area and get your water from a well that is not regulated, it could contain metals such as arsenic and uranium. If you want to find out about the quality of tap water in your area, click here.   

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