The bottled up truth about packaged drinking water.

Water is one of the most important resources available on the planet and maintaining our relationship with this highly vital resource is critical to the future of our species. 

It is important to know that the water we drink and how we drink it also impacts our health and lifestyle! We might think that it’s just water but no, the quality and quantity of water also defines the benefits it brings to us.   

Many people in India lack access to healthy drinking water and this is evident in UNICEF’s reports which mention that “Less than 50 per cent of the population in India has access to safely managed drinking water.” 

This is mainly because of the contamination of water and its harmful chemicals contents like fluoride and arsenic which are present in water of about 1.96 million dwellings across India. 

It is also estimated that waterborne diseases have a huge economic impact of approximately around USD 600 million a year in India. This is especially true for drought and flood-prone states such as West Bengal, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Assam, Bihar, Gujrat, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab. 

Let’s talk about bottled water, even though it is great for our convenience, it can have its own pros and cons. 

Some of the pros which bottled water have are that it is convenient, it is great to carry around anywhere and anytime, it’s also easily available at majority grocery stores and supermarkets. The storage of bottled water is also easy compared to traditional tap drinking water for which you need to purchase your own water bottle if needed for transport. Bottled water is a highly regulated product, it goes through a lot of processes before going in the stores hence it is proved that it is clean and safe from all the preservatives.

 One of the main reasons why consumers buy bottled water is because of its taste, when compared to tap water, bottled water has a different taste because it has added minerals which makes its taste better and different. In the case of bottled water, we can choose from a lot of varieties such as mineral water, spring water, sparkling water etc. 

We all know that every coin has 2 sides to it, similarly bottled water also has cons of its own. Even though it is good for convenience, did you know that most of the plastic bottles are not even recycled, and an estimated 1500, plastic bottles end up as waste in landfills or thrown in the ocean every second,  causing major harm to the environment. Drinking water from plastic bottles can also cause a lot of health issues as plastic contains chemicals such as BPA or bisphenol A. When water is stored in plastic for a longer time or exposed to direct sunlight, the chemical can leak into the water which can make it hazardous to drink. Most of the plastic water bottles that we buy and consume are never recycled which is shocking because all this waste ends up either in landfills or oceans creating an environmental hazard. 

Bottled water when compared to tap water is very expensive, the production cost is added to the water itself which makes it expensive when purchased regularly. After a 4-year review done by the Natural Resources Defense Council they found out that nearly 25 percent of bottled water is simply tap water. While bottled water brands may advertise it as pure clean water it usually is used as a marketing gimmick. 

Now that the pros and cons of bottled water have been discussed, it is important to get a brief understanding of bottled water in India. Currently, bottled water is sold in a variety of packages right from 200 ml pouches and glasses, 330 ml bottles, 500 ml bottles, one litre bottles and even 20 to 50 litre bulk water packs. In terms of cost, the bottled water business in India can be divided broadly into three segments, premium natural mineral water, natural mineral water and packaged drinking water which is approximately priced at approximately Rs. 20  per litre. The Indian market is estimated at about Rs 1,000 Crore and is growing at a whopping rate of 40 per cent. 

According to a national-level study, there are more than 200 bottled water brands in India and among them nearly 80 percent are local brands. The per capita consumption of mineral water in India is a mere 0.5-liter compared to 111 litre in Europe and 45 litre in the USA. 

Bottled water in India has a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of approximately 20.75% from now and is set to reach a staggering figure of more than 400 billion by the end of year 2023. As per the survey report of Research and Markets; the volume of bottled water will reach 35.53 billion litres by the end of year 2023, after the approximate CAGR of 18.25% in the year 2018. Furthermore, as per a UN study conducted in 122 countries, in connection with water quality, India’s number was a dismal 120. In comparison to global standards India’s bottled water segment is largely unregulated while safe water is rated with a completely different yardstick in foriegn countries. In India, the aspect has been long overlooked and Indian consumers tend to believe that any bottled water is safe water while this may not be true.

What is the best alternative to bottled water in India?

FINWater powered by Permionics is the future of water purifications system in India. FIN Water is committed to providing a healthier, efficient, and more sustainable water purification system. 

What is FIN water purifier? and How does it work? Nanotechnology in FIN revolves around the use of an intelligent semi-permeable membrane with pore size in the nanoscale of less than 10 nanometers surrounded by a charge field, which enables the membrane to distinguish between impurities and essential minerals. Thus, providing you with the safest and cleanest drinking water available to you.

Leave a Comment