Kaitlin Mahar: Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink

UntitledWater is the primary resource on this earth that keeps all living things alive. Food is also necessary, but one is able to live far longer without food than without water.

However, given that big business manages to commodify everything, it should come as no shock that, of course, water would be commodified as well.

While many are aware of the environmental and financial effects of bottled water, few realize the negative effects they have on the residents of low-income neighborhoods. If you thought the bottled water business was infuriating before, then you’ll be seeing red permanently after watching the 2009 documentary Tapped.

The documentary showed that not only were the products themselves harmful, as the bottles contained harmful carcinogens and chemicals, such as Bisphenol-A (BPA), but also showed there’s an excessive amount of pollution that directly results from the this industry, with approximately 33.6 million tons of water bottles being reduced to plastic waste.

UntitledThose affected have come face-to-face with not only cancer, but also other medical issues, including diabetes, birth defects, and obesity — an ironic result for businesses that advertise products that are “healthy” and “safe.” (Is this where we remind ourselves that up to 40 percent of the water in these expensive bottles is simply filtered tap water?)

And most disgusting of all? The same people suffering from environmental issues brought on by water bottle giants are forced to purchase bottled water in order to have some semblance of drinkable water.

Disgusted? You’re not alone. But what’s most despicable of all is that this documentary was published nearly seven years ago, and yet, still, nothing has changed.

 

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