BARCELONA, Aug 7 — The impact of bottled water on natural resources is 3,500 times greater than that of tap water, according to a study by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health conducted in the capital of Catalonia.

Research by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health found that if everyone in the city of Barcelona drank bottled water, the cost of extracting the resource would be 3,500 times higher than if they drank tap water. A total of US$83.9 million (RM354 million) just for that. Similarly, the authors found that the impact of bottled water on ecosystems would be 1400 times greater than that of tap water.

Bottled water has often been favoured over tap water following warnings about potential risks of cancer associated with tap water. However, researchers have now come to a different conclusion. According to them, the reduced environmental cost would more than compensate for the cancer risk, which is low, generated by tap water. Moreover, the treatment process of drinking water, regulated by the European Union, would minimise these risks.

According to the researchers, to produce a plastic bottle it takes three times more water than the bottle could hold. To arrive at these figures, the scientists estimated the environmental impact of a product over its entire life cycle, from the extraction of raw materials to its disposal, including its manufacture, transportation, distribution and use. — ETX Studio