To the Editor,
A recent opinion piece (“Plastic water bottles have no place on eco-friendly campus”; Dec 2) does not take into account why so many Americans choose bottled water and why it is a good option in addition to tap water.
The popularity of bottled water has not come at the expense of tap water. Millions of Americans drink water to stay hydrated as the body requires thanks to the convenience, quality and consistent taste of bottled water. This is a good thing.
Bottled water is as safe as tap water. Both bottled water and tap water are strictly regulated by federal law. The standards imposed on bottled water by FDA are as stringent as the standards set for tap water by the EPA.
Bottled water companies do not simply “bottle” tap water or spring water. Purified water goes through a highly sophisticated purification system of distillation, deionization and reverse osmosis to remove impurities. Even spring water must undergo testing and the source of the water must be maintained for purity. This involves significant operational costs.
Bottled water containers are 100 percent recyclable, even the caps, and are among the most recycled consumer products in the country. While some critics suggest that bottled water contributes significantly to waste, the reality is that they only contribute about one-third of one percent of all waste produced in America.
The bottled water industry supports a strong public water system. People are drinking more water today because of bottled water, and we should encourage this trend.
Vice President of Policy
American Beverage Association