Bottled Water Vs. Tap - Argument Essay | Teen Ink

Bottled Water Vs. Tap - Argument Essay

September 14, 2022
By ASoldierOfHalla SILVER, Collierville, Tennessee
ASoldierOfHalla SILVER, Collierville, Tennessee
7 articles 3 photos 13 comments

Favorite Quote:
“One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.” - Malala Yousafzai

How often do you think about the water you drink, and where it comes from? You might not give a second thought before grabbing a plastic water bottle off a store shelf, or filling up a cup with your sink faucet. But really, there is worldwide debate on the usage of bottled and tap water that has been ongoing for decades. With increasing environmental concerns of bottled water, many people have been calling for a return to tap water. Tap water is not nearly as detrimental to the environment as bottled water, and it is just as safe, as well as cheaper. On the other hand, bottled water enthusiasts claim that tap water is unsafe. It is said by some to contain more contaminants than water bottles. Bottled water is also very convenient to buy and use. After reading numerous articles, it can be concluded that tap water is the overall better choice of water source. Implementing this choice would require the participation of communities. A large consumer of water is schools worldwide. Schools should have tap water offered to their students instead of water bottles, because tap water is safer, cheaper, and better for the environment as a whole. If schools all over started implementing tap water instead of bottled, they, as well as the whole world, could benefit greatly. Even though the appeal of bottled water’s convenience may seem to outweigh tap water’s advantages, tap water would still be the better option.

Tap water is better overall than bottled water and would be a better water source for schools. First of all, tap water is safe and sanitary for people to drink. For example, the article, “Bottled versus tap: Which is safer?” by knowledgeable author, Elena Conis, addresses this exact point. In paragraph six of the article, it states,  “...tap water in the country meets the EPA’s drinking-water standards, which regulate the levels of roughly 90 different contaminants…” Tap water is purified and regulated thoroughly, ensuring that it is safe for drinking purposes. This proves that tap would be good to use in schools, because there are little to no health risks involved. Similarly, in the same article, it talks about the monitoring methods in tap water facilities opposed to bottled. In paragraph 11 of the article, it says, “And while large public water suppliers are often tested for contaminants up to several times a day, the FDA requires private bottlers to test for contaminants only once a week, once a year, or once every four years, depending on the contaminant.” Public tap water suppliers are required to be monitored and tested for contaminants multiple times a day. This further reinforces the safety of tap water. In comparison, bottled water companies are not checked for contaminants nearly as often, proving that tap water is the safer option. Finally, one last advantage of using tap water is cost. In an article titled “City Council Shuns Bottles in Favor of Water From Tap” by scholarly author Jennifer Lee, the price of bottled and tap water is discussed. As Lee wrote, “Bottled water costs 4,000 to 10,000 times as much as tap water.” This shows that tap water is superior to bottled water because it costs extremely less. People could save numerous amounts of money by using tap water instead of bottled water. This is also another reason schools should implement tap water. School funds are wasted on bottled water that they could just as easily get from their taps. If they switched to tap water, schools could use the money saved from not buying bottled water on more important things that require funding. Also, if schools cannot afford to buy bottles for their students, and did not offer tap water, kids would go the whole day without having any water. That can have devastating impacts on a child’s growing body. All in all, the advantages of tap water over bottled water include the safety and cost. These advantages outweigh the convenience offered by bottled water. Schools should have tap water offered to students because it is safe and significantly less costly for schools.

While there are many reasons pointing towards the conclusion that tap water is a better choice, there are also many negative factors of bottled water that make it obvious that tap water should be used instead.  For starters, bottled water has actually been proven to have more contaminants than tap water. For instance, the article, “Bottled Water Quality”, written by The Pacific Institute, discusses the evidence of an experiment conducted on bottled water quality. This is shown in the text when it states,  “Altogether, 26 samples of 13 bottled water brands collected from different bottled water plants in Mumbai were tested for pesticides (or poisonous chemicals) most commonly used in India. The results of the study showed pesticides in every example.” The experiment concluded that every single bottle had traces of dangerous chemicals. This means that every time someone drinks a bottle of water, they could be ingesting harmful substances. This shows that bottled water is dangerous and shouldn’t be consumed by anyone, especially not children in schools. Another reason bottled water is the wrong option is the waste of supplies used to make it. For instance, in the article, “Goodbye, Bottled Water?” by brilliant author, Gail Hennessy, it states,  “...1.5 million barrels of petroleum are used to produce plastic water bottles in the United States each year. ‘That’s enough to supply 250,000 homes with electricity for a year…” There is so much petroleum wasted on making bottles that are dangerous and pollute the environment. The resources used to make bottles could easily be used for many other things, but instead are being swallowed up by bottled water consumers. Schools’ carbon footprints would hugely increase if they offered water bottles, because they would be indirectly using up so many resources. Finally, one last point against bottled water is its infamous pollution aspect. This is talked about in the same article when it states, “More than 1 billion plastic water bottles end up in California’s landfills each year, taking 1,000 years to biodegrade and leaking toxic additives such as phthalates into the groundwater.” The one-use bottles from bottled water end up littering the earth and even leaking toxic chemicals into the ground. These chemicals can then go back into the tap and bottled water that we drink. If people stop using bottles, all water would be much safer. Schools shouldn’t offer bottled water, as they would be contributing to the massive epidemic of water bottle pollution. It is just as easy for them to let students drink tap water that decreases their pollution output and is safer and cheaper. 

All in all, tap water is the best source of drinking water and should be offered to children in schools. Tap water is safe and regulated, cheap, and better for the environment. On the other hand, bottled water is dangerous and contains chemicals and contaminants. It is expensive for the consumers, it wastes resources on production, and pollutes the world, as well as the water that goes back into those same bottles. Billions of bottles are still being used by people everywhere, despite the obvious fact that they are hurting us and the environment. It is understandable that bottled water is convenient, but are people willing to sacrifice the worlds well-being for that convience? It is undeniable that bottles should not be used anywhere, especially not in schools. Children’s health and futures are put at stake by the water they are given. That’s why it’s essential to switch to tap water. Using it can be the difference between a healthy world of healthy people and ailment and pollution. Every person that uses tap water contributes to change. Even just one school using tap water instead of bottled could make a big difference. The switch to tap water and essentially a better world is within our grasp. It all depends on you. So, what will you do next time you’re thirsty?

The author's comments:

Another school assignment. I made it last year. I find it helpful to use as an example for writing argument essays. 

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