Tap it

Drink tap, use bottle

Water is the liquid of life, and it’s free. But the magic of marketing and the madness of men has led to us £2.4 billion a year on bottled water in the UK.1

And the myth that bottled water is healthier is just that: a myth. In fact, here are often tighter regulations on the quality of tap water than bottled water2, and microplastics have been found in 93% of bottled water brands.3

Oh, and disposable water bottles are also causing havoc in our oceans. Drink tap water for the next two months, save money and reduce waste while rehydrating the low impact way.

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Why

Here are a few reasons to take action.

Click for more info or scroll to read them all.

Health

Water and health go hand in hand, so surely a bottle in hand can only be good for health? Bottled water has been repeatedly shown to be no better for you than tap water; in fact, it is subject less stringent regulations than tap water.

In 2018 the World Health Organisation launched an investigation into the health impacts of plastic particles found in bottled water.

So really, health is no reason to buy bottled.

25% - 45%

of bottled water comes from the same place as your tap water6

Waste

While plastic can be recycled, in reality less than half of or plastic bottles are collected for recycling. And given that 480bn plastic drinks bottles were sold globally in 20164, that creates one huge heap of waste, adding to our fast overflowing landfills and, perhaps more worryingly, filling up our oceans. There they break down into little bite-sized plastic pellets, forming the likes of the 'The Great Pacific Garbage Patch', and being eaten by sea creatures, working their way back into our food chain....

Here’s another way of thinking about it: if you were to buy one plastic bottle every day of your life, you’d leave behind a pile of waste bottles four to six times your bodyweight, which would linger on earth for around 450 years after you’ve gone. So even your great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great- grandchildren would have a heap of of flaky plastic waste to remember you by.5

What a lovely legacy!

Climate change

Bottled water is 1,000 times more carbon intensive than its tap alternative,7 mainly because of packaging and transport.

And talking of transport, moving bottles of water around the globe adds about 100g CO2 per bottle to the equation.7 Fiji water in the Yorkshire Dales anyone? What?!

17,000

cars could be powered for a year on the oil that is used to produce water bottles in the UK.7

Taste

When it comes to blind taste testing, even die-hard bottled water advocates prefer the tap variety. Go on, test yourself.

Money

£1 buys you 1,000 litres of tap water in the UK; how many litres of bottled water can you get for £1? Not too many...

Watch The Story of Bottled Water to delve a little deeper into this slippery industry.

Global Goals

In September 2017, a historic agreement was signed by UN member nations agreeing to work towards 17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development by 2030, otherwise known as the SDGs.

Achieving these ambitious goals will require action from governments, businesses, NGOs, and individuals alike. We can - and must - all play our part.

By making the 'Tap it' pledge, you are contributing in your own small way to the following SDG targets:

12.5: By 2030, substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse

12.8: By 2030, ensure that people everywhere have the relevant information and awareness for sustainable development and lifestyles in harmony with nature

13.3: Improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning

14.1: By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution

How

It's pretty straightforward really:

  1. Buy yourself a reusable bottle
  2. Fill it up
  3. Drink.

While on the go, ask nicely and cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars will fill it up for you. If you need reassurance that this is ok, use the The Refill App.

One of our favourite reusable water bottles is from GiveMeTap; buy one of their handy sized metal bottles and not only do you get a convenient and easy-to-clean bottle to drink from, but you will also fund 5 years of clean drinking water to someone in Africa. Time to feel double smug.

Success Stories

1,882

Pledges
in total

9,933kg

CO2
pledged

Surprising how much money you save at the train station when you are not paying c.£5 for a bottle of water each time!!

I did great - though got really thirsty at airports when I forgot to bring a reusable bottle!

I had one blip in this challenge, which was that shortly after starting it I travelled through an airport and assumed I wouldn't be able to use my refillable bottle, so I bought a bottle of water. However I then realised it made more sense to just bring my bottle and ask someone to refill it if there is no fountain. This worked fine the next time I travelled.

There's no need to buy bottled water unless it's an emergency! I am now also trying to stop buying other bottled drinks, such as juices, which I tend to buy at the weekend when I am out and about with my son.

I did purchase a few bottles unfortunately due to some bad planning but a lot less than normal, this was a great exercise as it always had me thinking.

I haven't brought a bottle of water since before Xmas, even at home I have started to drink water from glasses we have at home.

Bought and use a self filtering water bottle (Brita)

I've been refilling my water at the fountain down the hall - bought significantly less pop from the canteen (less than 10% of what I used to)

It was hard to avoid Tesco meal deals, but I did it! They need to find a drinks option that doesn't involve plastic bottles.

I have a water filter jug and do not buy plastic bottled water. I also purchased a glass water bottle and the water tastes better. The only draw back is that it's heavy to carry but worth it .

i stopped buying bottled water and drink water from the tap using a reusable bottle. It did not only save me money but also helped to save the environment.

had to buy a couple of bottles when i have been out

I found it easier than i thought and it had the added effect of me drinking more water. i took my pledge very seriously.

This is really a nice exercise and motivation.

This was easy at home/work but while traveling abroad in a country where you need to drink only bottled water it was nearly impossible (2 weeks out of 2 months)

Yes I will continue now I have reusable bottle

Not bought any bottled water for personal consumption over the last 2 months

Not always easy to completely avoid but it is on my mind to improve and be aware going forward.

Drinking tap is much easier and cheaper compared to buying bottles. I totally made it and saved money.

I bought myself a Pret reusable bottle and have not used a single bottle since! Free refill please :)

I brought the Pret reusable water bottle for work and brought a Brita filter water jug at home and they are both working well for me, I'm now not buying big bottles of Evian at home or taking the bottled water at work - just filling up from the tap.

I now carry a metal chilly bottle to fill from the tap

Love my Do Nation bottle!

Love my Give Me Tap water bottle - I haven't bought a single bottled water this year!

I fill my bottle and my son's water bottle and keep them in the fridge - loving fresh chilled local water! plus our bin isn't full of plastic bottles anymore

It was actually significantly easier to take a refillable bottle for traveling than I would have expected and will continue to do so.

I now use tap water all the time in work, I bring in my own coffee instead of using takeaway cups and I use tap water at the gym.

Cost me £12 for a good bottle but I have saved a massive amount of money through using tap water and it tastes fine

I refilled my bottles and my families bottles and put them in the fridge. No complaints.

I used to buy water bottles when required, but now after pledging to use reusable bottle, i have completely stopped buying bottles of water and reuse the same reusable bottle every time.

Loved taking part of the Tap it pledge journey! I will definately be continuing with it as it's become a habit for me and it has saved me alot of money on buying bottles of water everyday.

References

  1. The Guardian
  2. The Telegraph
  3. BBC News
  4. The Guardian
  5. On average, a 500ml bottle of water contains 12.7g of PET plastic(this is actually a very conservative figure as soda bottles weigh more, as much as 26g). If you drank one every day per year, that’s 12.7 x 365 = 4,635g per year. The average brit lives 81.6 years and weighs 70kg (female) or 83kg (male). Thats 81.6 x 4,635g plastic = 378kg plastic per lifetime. 378 / 70 = 5.4 women’s weight, or 378 / 83 = 4.6 men’s weight.
  6. UpWorthy
  7. Berners-Lee, M (2010). How Bad are Bananas?

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