Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Bottled water debate

Have you ever wondered about the apparent paradox in the bottled water business? It’s ok to buy bottles that have sat on the shelf for months, but if you take them home, don’t even think about refilling them to bring along with you to work or wherever. Part of me thinks it’s a scam just to get us to buy more bottles of water if that’s your choice. I enjoy Diet Pepsi and usually buy a case when it’s on sale at Piper’s or one of the other stores in town. Price per unit is about 75 cents. However, I don’t want to drink too much, so I alternate between a one litre bottle of DP and a water tap refill from home in a same size bottle. A few weeks ago, there was a lot of press about bacteria levels in the water … much uncertainty as to whether bottled water was safe. That seems to have resolved itself, but the refill issue remains contentious. Health Canada says this, “There have been claims that polyethylene terephthalate (PET or PETE) plastic used in single use water bottles breaks down when used repeatedly releasing cancer-causing chemicals. However, Health Canada has seen no scientific evidence to suggest that reusing PET bottles will contribute harmful levels of chemicals and toxins to the water.” For now, for me that’s good enough. Please note this post has nothing to do with the ethical issues involved … save that for another time.


Charlie said...

I avoid those plastic bottles/containers for sure, that have the # 7 on the recycling triangle on the bottom of bottles/containers, as they have bisphenol A in them, and that has been declared dangerous. Many offices still have the big water coolers that have BPA in them. Have not heard anything officially "bad" about PET, however, if there's plenty of money to be made, that will be done before a ban or boycott would result from a negative finding.

ViewPoint2010 said...

Charlie, interesting, I’d not heard of that #7 thing before. Thanks for pointing it out. It surely is a money grab. I’ve heard so many stories where the bottled water is simply tap water or well water that is run through some kind of filtration system and then bottled in plastic bottles and left to sit on store shelves for months at a time. Leach, anyone?