Saturday, June 25, 2011

Grumpy Old Man: Water, Water everywhere…and its bottled!

I love this Grumpy Old Man post – this issue drives me nuts! – Lisa
I had an experience in a restaurant last week when the bill arrived for the meal and included $20 for two bottles of still water!
"how much??"
This is becoming something of a habit with restaurants and no doubt quite a profitable one.
It got me thinking that we actually can pay more for water than petrol! How strange is this? I am sure most of us would be more than satisfied with water from the tap. It is after all chlorinated and has helped reduce the instances of tooth decay in the community very significantly over the years since its introduction.
The infrastructure for delivery of tap water is well and truly in place, whereas the production/distribution of bottled water is most definitely using finite resources … typically PET bottles which can be a derivative of fossil fuel.
The transportation costs are high, the labelling and closures are energy-sapping and of course the cost of displaying in the various retail outlets incurs electricity on-costs etc. Also not forgetting the proper disposal of the empty bottles … more energy usage to collect and regrade into usable pellets for use in making recycled items such as park benches. An attempt to balance the growing usage?
So why are we consuming copious quantities of bottled water? In the restaurant case referred to above, the water was in fact from Italy for heaven’s sake! Add the transportation costs for that and maybe it helps explain the exhorbitant restaurant price?
Many consumers would not be aware that Australia’s most popular water drink is supplied by the company who own possibly the largest selling carbonated beverage in the country … Coke.
So why don’t we grasp reality and simply make sure we drink tap water rather than bottled and/or flavoured water?
I would welcome feedback on this, as it has me very grumpy and confused as to why we have this amazing scenario, which in many cases costs a packet across all measures … environmental and our hip pockets.
Till the next time

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