Thinking Outside the Bottle: Tapped the Movie

A few days ago Taylor and I decided to watch the movie Tapped after seeing it posted by fellow green bloggers here.

Only about an hour long (and on netflix!), it covered a massive amount of information on basically everything wrong with plastic, from the bottled water industry to the harmful chemicals in every plastic container you eat or drink out of to the way the chemical industry is destroying everything and everybody to make a few bucks.

The film is really well done and I highly recommend it.  For me these were the biggest takeaway points:

  •  The communities whose underground water reserves are harvested by bottling companies have no legal recourse to take back what would have been their municipal drinking water.
  • Bottled water is “purified” by the manufacturer, but the FDA does not require disclosure of any method used other than distillation.  As the Environmental Working Group reveals in its investigation of bottled water, most companies market their water using claims not backed by any scientific studies.  Because 40% of bottled water comes from municipal water sources, Tapped argues that bottled water is just tap watered sold back to you at 1900 times the cost, but now full of all the chemicals that leech out of plastic (like BPA).
  • Plastic bottles are composed of refined petroleum products. The chemical plants that process petroleum destroy the environment around them and produce literal tons of toxic waste.
  • All of the plastic in the oceans is destroying life, accumulating in huge garbage patches in the Pacific Ocean. What were once sandy beaches on the coast of California are now quickly becoming plastic beaches with sand composed of small shards of plastic.
  • The EPA and other government environmental organizations have their hands tied by political and legislative restrictions, so as much as they would like to help, they can’t do much.
  • Industry doesn’t care at all! After reading about the way the lead industry in the 20th century suppressed research, lobbied, and bribed anybody they could to keep lead in paint and gasoline, I have been noticing this everywhere.  At the end of Tapped, a scientist reveals that Dow Chemical tried to bribe his group to delay publishing results or only selectively publish.  Ugh this will never stop happening.

I’ve been thinking about all of this nonstop since watching the film, and I am pissed.  First it made me want to become a lawyer post chemistry PhD so I could help the people of Maine who are having their drinking water stolen by Nestle. Then after seeing how helpless everybody at the EPA is, I wanted nothing to do with the government or policy and to become a grassroots activist. Or maybe just live in a cabin the woods with Taylor and grow my own vegetables.

So what this all comes down to is please don’t buy bottled water.  Preserve your health, the environment, and your wallet by carrying a refillable metal bottle around with you, and if you like fizzy water consider a sodastream (I love mine).


2 thoughts on “Thinking Outside the Bottle: Tapped the Movie

  1. I definitely want to check out this movie! The town I grew up in in Maine was right next to Poland, of Poland Springs. We had well water that was just so delicious, and I like to joke with people that I showered in Poland Springs water. Where we live now in upstate NY, our well water is too full of iron to drink, but we’ve discovered a natural spring nearby that everyone fills their empty jugs up at for free. Charging people for fresh water is extremely ridiculous – everyone needs it, why can’t we just figure out how to create a sustainable system so everyone gets it?

    Also, I nominated Greenwake for a Liebster blog award. Just wanted to spread the blog-love! Check out my blog for more details.

  2. Great summary! Glad you decided to watch this movie after reading our post, I think it’s definitely a movie EVERYONE should watch. It really brings to light the deepest secrets of the bottled water industry.

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