All Aboard For Justice helps South Carolinians save money by building trust in the state's public water systems and pledging to refrain from bottled water purchases for household use.
Last year, Chris Hammett of Spartanburg and other South Carolinians around the state joined All Aboard For Justice’s Policing Plastics Campaign by educating themselves about the water quality of their public water supply system and adopting a pledge to only purchase bottled water as a last resort.
“It was truly a life changing moment when I compared Spartanburg’s public water quality to the quality of some brands of bottled water” says Hammett. “This knowledge is very valuable to me as a parent who is always trying to find ways to better protect my children’s health.” A poll published in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine reported in one particular survey conducted with equal numbers of whites, African American and Latino respondents, concluded that minority parents were more likely to give their children mostly bottled water instead of tap water.
The pledge ended up saving households hundreds of dollars, reducing trips to recycling facilities and landfills, and provided cleaner safer water for all families who participated. All Aboard For Justice has been working in communities across state to provide educational insight on locating and understanding their public drinking water quality reports, explore testing options and cheap filtration alternatives where necessary.
“I am relieved to have a better understanding and stronger trust in the public water system as we begin the New Year,”says Vander Ragin who is also a resident of Spartanburg.
The plastic pollution crisis has made global headlines as we begin to search for permanent solutions. Governments and cities around the world are taking action. Recently, Charleston SC banned all single-use plastics within its city limits. Single-use plastics are the most harmful to the environmental because many cannot be recycled and are used only once.
Bottled water is one of the most popular and frequently used plastic products. More than half of Americans use bottled water, at least occasionally. Most people buy bottled water for its convenience, taste, during an emergency situation, and if they have concerns about the safety of their tap water. The truth is bottled water is not safer and better regulated than our tap water. It is important to read the fine print on bottled water labels to be sure it has purified by a reliable filtration technology such as reverse osmosis. Consumers should also be mindful that even filtration processes like reverse osmosis can produce large amounts of concentrated wastewater.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), not the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), regulates bottled water. Monitoring is infrequent and fewer contaminants are measured than public tap water supplies. Some bottled water products are not regulated at all. Much of the bottled water sold in North America is actually drawn from municipal sources (municipal is just fancy word for city tap-water systems) and then packaged with a massive price increase for minor treatment of water that was already safe to drink!
According to the AAA, bottled water can cost almost three times the price of regular-grade gasoline per gallon. The bottled water industry produces over a million tons of plastic waste per year, and only a small fraction of the plastic bottles are recycled! The rest eventually ends up in oceans and landfills, and on beaches. Plastic bottles can stay without breaking down for hundreds of years. Large amounts spent on corporate marketing leads people to believe bottled water is cleaner than tap water. People who consume a lot of bottled water may not realize the importance of supporting funding for maintenance and improvement of our public water systems. In many cases, over pumping by for-profit bottling companies drains the local community’s water reserves.
“We are all guilty of purchasing bottled water at some point, but it is most important for us to educate ourselves on the truths about the quality of bottled water and why it should be used as a last resort or during emergency situations,” says Xavier Boatright, Lead Organizer at All Aboard For Justice.
To learn more about how YOU can save money while helping to protect the environment from plastic pollution contact us here!