Courtney Brooks: Marketing can’t make bottled water good.

aWater is meant to be shared by all, not privatized by companies who take it, package it, and then resell it back to the people who should rightfully have free access to it. Water as a commodity is particularly detrimental to low-resource neighborhoods, because the people who live in those neighborhoods are already lacking in resources, so taking away the few that are naturally given to them is extremely unfair.

Companies have been able to increase consumption of bottled water because they practice intense marketing. They feed off convincing the public that tap water is unsafe, but bottled water (they say) is a pure and safe alternative. The images of mountains and streams that come on the packaging are all marketing ploys meant to hide the true source of bottled water; 40 percent of all bottled water is literally just filtered tap water. Purchasing bottled water is only wasting money that low-income neighborhoods don’t have in their pockets to spend.

When comparing the price of drinking water to the price of gasoline, it is shocking that drinking water has become more expensive. This is extremely threatening to low-income neighborhoods because unlike gasoline, water is needed for survival. Water is not an unlimited resource and it is becoming scarcer with each passing year. However, companies like Pepsi don’t take this into acount  and continue to overuse water even during times of drought.

If the price of water rises, it is the low-income neighborhoods that will feel the effects of it first and if it becomes unaffordable, then human health will be in jeopardy.

For all the extra cost associated with bottled water, it brings no guaranteed assurance for your health. Even if the water comes from a pure source and is filtered, there are risks associated with the plastic bottle itself. Bottled water is required to be tested by the companies that treat it, however the results are not always accessible, and safety is not always enforced. Plastic bottles can contain chemicals such as BPA, which affect your hormone levels and lead to severe health problems, such as increased risk of cancer, obesity, brain damage, immune deficiency, impaired learning, and much more. In low-income neighborhoods where people are struggling with affordable health care, encountering one of these issues brought on by plastic bottles could be fatal.

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