Plastics are great things, they move the world forward and are found in every conceivable object out there. When they're in your computers they allow for instant access to all the world's knowledge. When they're in refrigerators, they keep food edible for lengths of time unimaginable in pre-industrial times. When they're in organisms, they inhibit vital functions and set the stage for massive, bottom up food web collapses. Nine out of ten plastic bottles bought in the US don't get recycled. If we're lucky, they'll end up in a landfill, and if we're not, which we're not, most of them will end up on the side of the road. When it rains, the plastic gets washed into the streams, then the rivers, and eventually the Ocean. Once there, they are blasted by radiation from the sun, and slowly photodegrade into tiny pieces. These microplastics have the unfortunate tendency to absorb organic toxins found in the water from our many other silly endeavors to make this world a more comfortable place, such as PCBs, DDT, and PAHs. When these plastics and their toxic company are absorbed into plankton, they enter the food chain, causing many problems, primarily hormone imbalances and cancers. .
It seems pretty straight forward: we're poisoning ourselves. Research shows that on average, tap water is actually cleaner and safer than bottled water, and it is between 250 and 1000 times cheaper. Double blind studies have also failed to show any ability to distinguish between bottled and tap water based on taste. So why is it that Americans still spend about 9.8 billion dollars on bottled water every year? Tom Standage points out that "ounce for ounce, it costs more than gasoline," and that was in 2005, when gas prices were near an all-time high. Some people don't drink it because of illogical fears of chemicals added to tap water, such as fluoride, but this is unhelpful, because when heated water is force through a nozzle, solutes in the water are put into the air.