Water-centric news stories (floods aside) usually flow swiftly through my attention span and only two 2021 H20 moments have registered in a glass half empty, glass half full kind of way…
Big money guardians of the pour
The first? In February global food Nestlé released a substantial amount of its ‘liquid assets’ in North America by selling off its bottled-water brands, including popular but controversial Poland Spring. Two years ago judges dismissed a lawsuit casting doubts on its bona fide spring water status. Two private equity firms paid $4.3 billion. Proof that there’s gold still in them thar bottles, whatever the cost to the planet through plastic pollution.
Of course, the tide is turning with bottled water growth slowly shrinking, even in the USA, while Worldwide National Refill Day encourages greater responsibility beyond the chill cabinet impulse buy and swiftly discarded plastic. Back in 2019 Manchester Food and Drink Festival In a bid to do their part to tackle plastic bottle pollution, The Manchester Food and Drink Festival teamed up with the national Refill Campaign to offer free water bottle refills across city venues, linked by an appropriate app.
Yet all this activity still seems a drop in the polluted ocean, so fixed are we in our convenience ways. How any of us can be bothered to locate a free water fill-up station after all the corporate goodwill?
Whatever happened to Cristiano Ronaldo?
The second? When Cristiano Ronaldo, at a European Championship press conference, cleared two Coca-Cola bottles from view while brandishing his own tipple of choice, ‘Agua’ it was linked with a sudden $4 billion drop in the fizz giant’s market value (it bounced back). A blow for product placement, yes, a positive health statement, yes, but also promoting water in single use plastic bottles. No, no, no!
Coca Cola’s many subsidiary brands include bottled waters, some from natural springs, others not. Check out US top-seller Dasani. According to the website, Dasani combines “the process of reverse osmosis filtration with a proprietary blend of minerals to deliver a fresh, clean taste.” Clear as water? Clear as mud.
So what’s wrong with tap water?
While admitting a personal preference for refreshing liquid sustenance centred on fermentation (and I don’t mean kombucha), I do also recognise that straight tap water doesn’t always deliver a “fresh clean taste”. Urban myths about the tap stuff passing through seven bodies before it reaches you haven’t helped. The truth is, according to one UK water company expert: ‘You can’t make new water. You can basically say the water we drink today is the same water that the dinosaurs drank. So forget seven people – it’s been through billions.”
Quality varies from region to region, according to chemical composition. Hence it is easy to get in the habit of avoiding tap. Figures have shown that in the UK 7.7 billion plastic water bottles are used each year, with the average person in the UK now using 150 plastic water bottles every year – more than three a week. Many are discarded, and end up polluting our rivers and seas.
I can’t resist a further set of statistics from refill campaigners. The weight of plastic saved by removing just one billion plastic bottles is equal to 12,700 metric tonnes, or just under 13 million kilograms. That’s the equivalent of around 50 Eurotunnel trains, or more than 2,100 African bush elephants.
ZeroWater – a pure solution for my home water requirements
Fact: my new water filter, empty weighs under 1.5kg (about the weight of a duckbilled platypus) and has years of shelf life ahead. It replaces an old Britax that had given us good service but had grown grubby. Plastic for plastic but a sense of sustainability. The new kit in my kitchen is called ZeroWater. I’ve been testing the ZeroWater 12 cup .which costs £39.99 and I immediately appreciated the freshness of water stripped of impurities and free of any chlorine taint. Hence the name. It’s all about the Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) level.
The US Food and Drug Administration the TDS level in purified bottled water to reach 000-010ppm. ZeroWater is the only filter in its class to achieve this level. ZeroWater’s first layer of filtration, activated carbon and oxidation reduction alloy removes the chlorine taste you are accustomed to with tap water. The Ion Exchange stage removes virtually all dissolved solids that may be left over from public water systems or even leached into your water from metal piping. Three additional stages remove other contaminants.
All this is clocked by a gadget I’ve never seen with a filter before – a reader that allows you to gauge water quality in the glass before and after filtration. Laboratory research show water quality in US cities is 200-300ppm and ZeroWater tranforms this to a 000 reading or thereabouts.
It was a gimmicky Youtube plug three Christmases ago, but filterer for hire Philip Schofield proved (briefly) that ZeroWater power can turn wine to water!