EWG's Bottled Water Scorecard Report

Bottled Water and the Truth About Misleading Advertising

Rows of plain water bottles with white lidsThe Environmental Working Group (EWG) recently published a Water Bottle Scorecard that details many environmental and health woes related to how water is bottled and marketed to unsuspecting consumers. Not only are people paying up to 1,900 times more for bottled water than tap water, they’re doing so under false pretenses, hoping for healthier, safer drinking water. Pictures of pretty water falls and names that give the illusion of purity and transparency lull consumers into believing they are purchasing water that is far superior than what they can get from their faucet.

No one wants to be duped by fuzzy marketing claims, and that’s why the EWG Scorecard is so helpful. After surveying over 180 brands of bottled water, EWG’s summary findings were as follows:

  • 18% of all bottled water brands tested failed to reveal their water’s geographic source;
  • 32% of those bottled water brands studied did not provide information on whether the water was treated or not (meaning there is a strong likelihood that the water is simply bottled tap water);
  • 13% of the bottles of water that did provide “water quality” information failed to back it up with actual test data;
  • More than 50% of the bottled water brands did not make any improvements to their product from 2009 (after the first EWG Bottled Water Scorecard was published) to 2010;

 

Choosing more sustainable, ethical drinking water sources

One of the major issues with bottled water is the lack of governmental inspection and control. In fact, the laws governing municipal tap water are actually more stringent than those governing the quality of water that is bottled.

Additionally, there are serious concerns over the ethics of bottling and selling a resource that should be a human right. Many experts are raising the alarm about future, and even some current water wars. If you want to find out more about these water issues, check out these resources:

It is very important to consider reducing your consumption of bottled water. If you must purchase bottled water then try to stay away from those with the worst track records for environmental and social violations (see EWG’s Shelf of Shame). Also, please recycle the plastic bottle as plastic #2. Of course, the greenest portable water choice is always to take your own. Check out Ecolife’s articles on plastic water bottles and BPA, how to choose an eco water bottle, and other suggestions for reducing your consumption of plastic.






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