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- Bottled water creates tons of trash. Each year, more than 26 billion bottles are thrown away (less then 15% are recycled) and 16.5 billion gallons of water are wasted to provide Americans with "convenient" access to water. The plastic from these bottles doesn't biodegrade - it now a permanent part of our landfills. In 2005, 2 million tons of plastic water bottles ended up clogging landfills instead of getting recycled.
- Bottled water is no safer than tap water. Non-profit Natural Resource Defense Council conducted a four-year review of the bottled water industry and the safety standards that govern it, including a comparison of national bottled water rules with national tap water rules, and independent testing of over 1,000 bottles of water. The conclusion was that there is no assurance that just because water comes out of a bottle it is any cleaner or safer than water from the tap. And in fact, an estimated 25 percent or more of bottled water is really just tap water in a bottle -- sometimes further treated, sometimes not.
- Bottled water hurts the environment. In 2006, the equivalent of 2 billion half-liter bottles of water were shipped to U.S. ports, creating thousands of tons of global warming pollution and other air pollution. In New York City alone, the transportation of bottled water from western Europe released an estimated 3,800 tons of global warming pollution into the atmosphere. In California, 18 million gallons of bottled water were shipped in from Fiji in 2006, producing about 2,500 tons of global warming pollution.
- Plastic bottles pose a health risk. Studies have shown that chemicals called phthalates, which are known to disrupt testosterone and other hormones, can leach into bottled water over time. One study found that water that had been stored for 10 weeks in plastic and in glass bottles contained phthalates, suggesting that the chemicals could be coming from the plastic cap or liner. Although there are regulatory standards limiting phthalates in tap water, there are no legal limits for phthalates in bottled water -- the bottled water industry waged a successful campaign opposing the FDA proposal to set a legal limit for these chemicals!