Bottled water: the ultimate throwback to feudal selfishness

IGNORITE!? :slight_smile:

But you’ve gotta give that money to the financial sector to keep your economy going.

“F’ infrastructure.”

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Where I live the tap water is undrinkable. The water company here chose to invest in a megalomaniac Skyscraper in stead of improving the water quality. (Torre Agbar) The outlets on my shower head turn black because of some black sticky residue building up. I even use bottled water for my espresso. It’s a shame.


Cheapest gas in Europe. Most expensive rent (I’m fairly certain), most expensive water, most expensive food, etc.

Take note America. You’ve been beaten to Libertarian Paradise.


Nice article. But oh christ, that comment section.

The misogyny, the fluoride FUD spreading, the partisan comments, the nuts, the vitriol.

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It’s not that they assume you ask for bottle water, it’s that (specially in touristic zones) they expect to make an additional profit.

Always ask for a glass of water. :wink:

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I think it’s easy to condemn bottled water without appreciating the historical (or present) conditions that led people to rely on it; clean, safe water supply hasn’t always been a given in the U.S. and still isn’t in other parts of the world, where water treatment plants are few and tap water literally comes out of the rivers where industrial and human waste is dumped.

If we are talking about the U.S., we have to look at the water quality during the 70s and 80s which gave rise to the bottled water industry here. Drinking water was in bad shape, especially before the Clean Drinking Water Act of '74 and the increased standards that took effect a decade later and probably took another decade to promulgate. During that time there was also a heightened awareness of pollution and the effect on drinking water and health. And in the retail environment that prevailed in the 70s and 80s, the only options for quenching thirst were buying coffee or soda. So of course bottled water was viewed as both a safer and healthier option at the time, and rightly so.

Step forward 25 years and now we have an industry that is geared towards fixing a problem that largely doesn’t exist anymore. So yes, it’s time to fix that. But we aren’t going to do it with shame alone or with boycotts, because the financial power is with those who sell bottled water, not with the people who give water away for free or sell reusable water bottles. To counteract this we need to encourage the development of infrastructure geared towards fixing the current problem, which is bottled water. Every restaurant has to provide water on request already (at least in NYC - don’t know how other municipalities handle it) so why not say that every food retail store also has to provide a place to fill a water bottle? Let them charge what they will, provide filtered or unfiltered tap as they will, but require that filling station at a minimum. That’s far more likely to solve the problem than just saying the problem of access to clean water doesn’t exist anymore and that we should all just lug our own bottles and fill them in the bathroom at Starbucks.


I’m afraid that’s a pipe dream.


My wife drinks only bottled spring water. Although at least she buys it by the gallon jug.

If it were not for the fact that she can identify our tap water (even when filtered) when compared to bottled in a blind taste test - every single time - I’d be more inclined to argue with her about it.

But not for any ideological reason, just because I’m pretty tight with a buck.

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There are legit reasons to disapprove of bottled water. And there are completely untenable, sexist, and dumb ones, too, apparently.

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Well, the cups likely would have been disposable, too, so I don’t know if the bottles were especially more wasteful. At least they’re not made of styrofoam.

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Someone probably did the math and decided that bottled water would lead to less trash on the street.

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Did Nestle ever do anything to give us a reason NOT to boycott them? I mean, the water they sell us is extracted from the third world mother’s milk so they can sell the solids back to them as baby formula, right?

Or was that Madonna, coconut water and palm oil; I can’t keep up any more.


Meh. I notice people don’t lose their minds over folks buying soda.


We have similar issues with our water supply (not the building a skyscraper part, though) from Detroit. Black slime can form on faucet screens and on the shower head. Sometimes the water smells like rotting fish when I first turn on the tap (probably water the Lake Huron plant because zebra mussels, thanks, Reagan!).

I installed an under-sink reverse osmosis system. It’s not entirely without waste, but at least I can drink the water from that spigot. The carbon filter on the fridge does a reasonable job, but I don’t like the taste as much. I give the carbon filtered water to my son, though, because fluoride passes the carbon filter and he needs it for his soon-to-appear adult teeth.

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If you think that when you are buying bottled water at the gas station you are buying water, you haven’t thought very hard about this. That same gas station likely has a free drinking fountain or soda fountain that will dispense free chilled water. What you are paying for is a convenient package of water.

When you are refueling on a road trip and you are thirsty, is it less ridiculous to buy a bottle of iced tea for the road than a bottle of water?

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I thought it hit a spectacular low point when a certain chap insisted that 1) people did not have a right to water, 2) slavery is only bad because it is illegal under our current laws, and 3) forcing people to pay taxes to support municipal water schemes through taxes is no different than slavery (except that we haven’t had the chance to make that illegal, too).

What is it about public works that brings out the crazy?

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I think bottled water is a great product and a healthy option. If Nestle added sugar and other chemicals to the water, would it be acceptable for folks to consume it? If you want to boycott Nestle for “mining” groundwater in California, maybe you should boycott fresh vegetables, milk, cheese, almonds, etc. from California as well?

I complained about my tap water in Washington, DC because it frequently turns brownish-orange (I know it’s not from inside my house because I spent a lot of money replacing all pipes up to the water main with new copper when I bought the house). DC WASA (the local water utility) sent out some very nice folks to test my tap water. Their analysis reported that my water was acceptable and merely had “harmless bacteria” and discoloration. The source was likely dirt entering the water mains at joints or possible cracks. They explained to me that my home was fairly far away from the nearest disinfection node (DC generally uses chloramine) so I should expect it to be like that. Have a nice day.

Let’s go back to the public shaming. Leave of the gender though. Just point out people with water bottles and make fun of them for being such an idiot. Public shaming is powerful.

In Chicago, building codes until some time in the 1960s required the pipes into every building from the water main to be connected using lead. If you go into most houses or building basements you can usually touch the connection and feel how soft it is. 100% lead, as far as I can tell.

Ironically (pun slightly intended), the years of mineral (etc.) buildup inside the pipes means that the lead is usually not directly in contact with the water anymore. However, it’s still recommended to run the tap for a few minutes in the morning before using the water.

So yeah, like you, we have an under-sink water filter in the kitchen.


Here’s a pretty good explanation: .

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