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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 9/1/16

Why Not Tap Water Instead of Bottled or Soda Water?

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Promoting tap water needs a political will against a vibrant $10 billion mineral water industry in a world where some 795 million people in the world do not have enough food to lead a healthy active life. Who dares and who cares!

Statistics reveal that for the first time since 1916, per capita consumption of bottled water will overtake the quaffing of carbonated beverages in the USA. While bottled water consumption already exceeds that of tap water, consumers are expected to be drinking more water than soda by early 2017. Soda consumption, which rocketed from the 1960s through the 1990s, is now undergoing a marked and sustained decline.

It is still hard to say whether it is the fear of obesity or increasing health awareness which is driving these revolutionary trends in American mainstay culture or the hazards of antiquated tap water supply infrastructure.

Yet, the adverse effects of high-sugar beverages and the general trend toward diets filled with more organic food and drinks have played a salutary role.

No panic in Soda industry! Beverage companies like PepsiCo are already making huge profits by launching bottled water and juice products. PepsiCo's Juice products grew by 60 percent in the first quarter of 2016, while its Lipton tea products grew by 10 per cent.

Although providing a healthy alternative to soda and alcohol, bottled water is found to be hazardous for the environment as a significant amount of energy is required to manufacture, transport and even recycle the plastic bottles, not to speak of the health hazards associated with the carcinogenic effects from plastic usage.

Due to its negative effects on global warming, Toronto, and some other Canadian cities have banned the distribution of bottled water in city facilities, parks and civic centres with some exceptions.

Nevertheless, the sad irony is that be it an affluent country like the Unites States or a third world poverty-stricken one like Pakistan, the voluble debate is not about the effects on the health of carbonated beverages vis-a-vis mineral water. It's all about the cutthroat competition between multinationals to see who can squeeze more juice out of the public. Beside its conventional cost, the energy cost of producing bottled water is as much as 2,000 times more than it is to produce a similar volume of tap water.

So why not shelve bottled water in favor of tap water? Slim chances!. Promoting tap water needs a political will against a vibrant $10 billion mineral water industry in a world where some 795 million people in the world do not have enough food to lead a healthy active life. Who dares and who cares!

 

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Tazeen Hasan is a Pakistani freelance journalist and activist based in North America. In the past, she has written for Sharq-al-Awsat group of Newspapers in the Arab World. Jang and Nawa-e-Waqt groups Pakistan. Currently, she is engaged with (more...)
 
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