The world’s biggest bottled water brand has been forced to admit that their water comes from the exact same source as your tap water.
USA Today reports Aquafina has changed its labels to specify P.W.S. — Public Water Source — under pressure from Accountability International.
The company said it was reasonable to make people understand that they were paying for water that is easily available in their bathroom sink.
Of course, Aquafina is filtered and purified, but it’s certainly not mountain spring water. It’s just processed tap water — the same stuff that you can find in your kitchen sink.
As ConvergEx Group Chief Market Strategist Nick Colas stated in an interview with Business Insider:
“The [bottled water] industry grossed a total of $11.8 billion on those 9.7 billion gallons in 2012, making bottled water about $1.22/gallon nationwide and 300x the cost of a gallon of tap water,” Colas says.
“If we take into account the fact that almost 2/3 of all bottled water sales are single 16.9oz (500 mL) bottles, though, this cost is much, much higher: about $7.50 per gallon,” according to the American Water Works Association.
That’s almost 2,000x the cost of a gallon of tap water and twice the cost of a gallon of regular gasoline.
According to the Beverage Marketing Association, a trade group, nearly 50% of all bottled water sold in the U.S. is just tap water that’s been purified.
Unfortunately, bottled water is often just as bad, or even worse, than tap water in the United States and elsewhere.
For instance, the EPA requires large public water suppliers to test for contaminants as often as several times a day, but the FDA requires private bottlers to test for contaminants only once a week, once a year, or once every four years, depending on the contaminant.
If you want to save yourself a whole bunch of money – and cut down on plastic water bottles! – just filter your tap water yourself. You can easily find a good filter for the price of not so many of those plastic bottles.