This is actually going to be a repeat entry, albeit updated. But it concerns an issue that bears repeating.
Each day there are hundreds (literally, hundreds) of plastic water bottles of varying sizes discarded in our hostel’s waste baskets.
(I might add that plastic bottles in Toronto should be placed in the blue “recycle boxes” but that would be straying off subject.)
The point is that many backpackers still insist on buying bottled water. They happily pay an average of $2 a litre but would recoil in horror if that were the price for, say, gasoline! In fact, a two liter bottle of Coca Cola or Ginger Ale is cheaper!
The fact is, there is absolutely no law in Canada that prevents someone from bottling and selling plain, ordinary tap water. Guess what? That’s what companies do.
So you are, in effect, paying good money for the same water you might find in your toilet. (To be fair, they do usually treat and filter it – needlessly – but read on and you’ll see what that can sometimes do!)
No matter the evidence a lot of backpackers insist that the bottled water “tastes differently” from water from the tap. Well, I’m sure it does! It has, after all, been sitting (for who knows how long) in a plastic container.
Back to treating and filtering already clean water: Dasani (a brand of bottled water owned by Coca Cola) had to be withdrawn in the UK due to contamination with bromate, a suspected carcinogen, produced by the treatment process used on the water.
The Toronto City Council in 2008 voted to ban the sale of bottled water in all municipal Toronto properties to alleviate the pollution caused by discarded, single-use, plastic water bottles.
By taking this action, Toronto joins more than 70 municipalities, six school boards and three university campuses across the country. It seems we are beginning to understand that we have been sold a bottle of goods.
Meanwhile, virtually hundreds of billions of plastic bottles are scattered annually in dump sites where they will likely sit for thousands of years. More than 2 billion litres of bottled water were sold in Canada last year! That’s a lot of plastic waste!
It is well-known that Toronto’s tap water is tested stringently and has been deemed, by independent tests, to be superior to the leading brand of bottled water.
So backpackers! Stop throwing away your money and stop polluting the environment needlessly! Please.