One of the world's biggest bottled water brands, Aquafina, has admitted that its bottled water comes from the exact same source as the water from your kitchen tap. A few years ago, the Pepsi corporation was forced by an advocacy group called, "Corporate Accountability International," to change their misleading label and make it clear to the customers that the water in the plastic bottles is nothing more than filtered tap water.
PepsiCo spokeswoman Michelle Naughtron called this decision a "reasonable thing to do" if it helped consumers better understand the fact that the water comes from public sources. While the label reads "purified drinking water" in plain sight, somewhere in tiny letters they added the P.W.S. (Public Water Source) label.
Do these three letters really help people understand that they are paying a premium price for the same water that flows out of their kitchen tap? Probably not.
Bottled water not really a safer option
After multiple reports about tap water in the United States being spiked with fluoride or contaminated with heavy metals and other nasty chemicals - think of the Flint water crisis and increased fracking activities - many American customers no longer trust their tap water. As a result, many informed customers now reach for bottled water instead. They believe it is a safer, chemical-free alternative to tap water.
Unfortunately, bottled water is often just as bad, or even worse. According to Living Traditionally, most municipal tap water companies have stricter purity standards than the bottled water industry. While the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires public water suppliers to test for contaminants as often as several times a day, privatewater companies only have to check their supply once a week, a year, or every four years, depending on the contaminant.
Paying a premium price for a cheap product
By including a picture of mountains and the term purified water on the label, consumers are led to believe that Aquafina originates from a natural mountain spring which is then filtered and bottled.
As stated by the Beverage Marketing Association, nearly 50 percent of all bottled water sold in the U.S. is tap water. Nonetheless, people unknowingly keep paying a premium price for the same water that comes out of their tap.
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