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Is Tap or Bottled Water Better?

A comparison of tap water and bottled water

Tap water or bottled water? That is the question! Let's consider the pros and cons of each in order to find the best solution for us and the planet.

Quality and composition

The quality of tap water can vary depending on the region. In Italy, water is generally of excellent quality and its composition1 is often better than bottled waters due to fewer nitrites, nitrates and sulphates found within the formulas.

Treatment

Commercially marketed water retains its natural characteristics upon bottling and may be treated by adding carbon dioxide or ozone-enriched air. Tap water also retains its natural compounds, but sometimes needs further treatment to improve its chemical and physical characteristics. Of course, water is always disinfected in order to protect during it’s the journey through supply pipes.

Testing

Bottled water is analyzed once a year2 by the companies that bottle it. Tap water, on the other hand, must undergo a minimum of 4 analyses per year3, and sometimes more frequently depending on the volume of water distributed and the characteristics of the network. Not only that, but a greater number of parameters are also involved in the testing process with more demanding requirements than commercially marketed water.

Variety of Choice

Unlike tap water, when purchasing bottled water the consumer benefits from the supposed luxury of choice. In reality, this choice is often strongly conditioned by advertising, rather than a conscious evaluation of the options available.

Container

Tap water can be collected and stored in glass jugs. Commercially marketed water tends to be sold in PET plastic bottles, representing a significant environmental hazard due to the issues surrounding their manufacture and recycling. This can also pose a possible health risk since the materials of the container will eventually be bound to deteriorate.

Cost

Bottled water is significantly more expensive than tap water. The tap flows directly from our sinks at home, while the price of bottled water is inflated by the cost of bottling, transport (which is done mostly by trucks) and advertising.

Environmental impact

Tap water, like the public fountains mapped by Waidy WOW, is environmentally friendly. The same cannot be said of commercially marketed water. Bottle manufacturing, the bottling process itself, transport, distribution, PET pollution and recycling all takes its toll on the environment.

It's best to avoid plastic bottles and choose tap water. The Waidy WOW app shows us how much CO2 we can save every day with this simple sustainable choice.


1 Fonte: Ministry of Health
2 Fonte: LEGISLATIVE DECREE 2 February 2002, n. 27 - Annex II: Table B 2
3 Fonte: LEGISLATIVE DECREE 2 February 2002, n. 27 - Annex II: Table B 1/a>