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Are we being fooled into buying bottled water?

Obviously when tap water sources are contaminated or otherwise unavailable, bottled water might be the best option. However, this article focuses on the millions of consumers with access to clean, fresh and safe water from the tap who continue to purchase bottled water

Are you one of the 5.3 million Australians above who drinks bottled water at least once a week? Chances are you've unconsciously fallen prey to some pretty misleading marketing tactics.

Recent research from Roy Morgan has found that bottled water consumption in Australia rose by 8% between 2014 and 2015. In fact, we're drinking more bottled water than ever before!

Another shocking statistic was the finding that women make up the bulk of the market. So, ladies, let's consider why we're shelling out for bottled water when we all know that we can get it free from the tap.

Why we choose bottled water

ConvenienceWe've all been there: you're out and about when thirst strikes. Often there's not enough time to stop at a café for a drink, and besides, you just want a glass of water! There's no bubbler/drinking fountain in sight (or the one that is nearby is covered in bird droppings), so you duck into a convenience store for a bottle of water.

The solution? Carry a reusable bottle with you whenever possible. I have a refillable one for office, and a metal one that I always chuck into my bag when leaving the house. Make it you habit to take your own bottle, plus you'll be reminded of the importance to stay hydrated.

Alternatively, simply ask for a glass of water at a shop/café/restaurant. If you insist that you're feeling faint, a good-natured staff member will usually oblige (it's free, so it's not like they're making a loss!). Fun fact: pubs and bars in Australia are required by law to supply free water to patrons.

TasteI've heard a friend say that bottled water tastes better because it doesn't have the "taste of the pipes" like tap water. Sigh.

The reality is, many taste tests have shown most consumers can't taste the difference between bottled and tap.

(Image: The Guardian)

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"Natural" water"By emphasising the natural and untouched quality of their water, these brands are implying, without stating outright, they are better for the consumer than tap water," says Andrew Price from Roy Morgan. In fact, some people (and women in particular) consider bottled water to be better quality than tap water.

Just check out the labels of bottled water next time you go to the shops: untouched droplets cascading from mountains, words like "natural" and "pure"… apparently this is enough to make us shell out between $3-$8 a litre for what we can essentially just get from the tap.

In fact, the cost of a 600ml Mount Franklin bottle of water is comparable to 1000 litres of Sydney tap water.

Check out the hilarious video below for a look at the marketing language that advertisers use to sell us things that we don't need:

What do you think? Let us know what you think about bottled water in the comments below

Banner image: Shutterstock

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