Off the bottle?

The water’s no better than tap, and the bottles are made from oil

Many people drink bottled water because they deem it superior to the stuff that comes out of the faucet. Wrong, argues Food & Water Watch, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit dedicated to consumer rights. In a report last year, the group blasted bottled water, declaring that Americans “think it is somehow safer or better than tap water … but it is generally no cleaner, or safer, or healthier than tap water. In fact, the federal government requires far more rigorous and frequent safety testing and monitoring of municipal drinking water.”

Americans drank 31.2 billion liters of bottled water last year. The Pacific Institute, an Oakland-based sustainability think tank, estimates that it takes approximately 17 million barrels of oil to produce the bottles all that water comes in. That, says the institute, is enough to fuel more than 1 million cars and light trucks for a year.