Puneeta was recently invited on Breakfast Television to comment on a new trend, sparkling water. Watch the video with Dina Pugliese. Here are the highlights from our discussion.
Sparkling water is basically just water, which is good. Hydration is good in most forms, however, check the labels for different types of sweeteners. By now, most of us probably know that sugar-laden sodas and juices are out. In addition, some brands add artificial sweeteners to their products and we need to be mindful of that. Avoid anything that says artificial sweeteners of any kind on a daily basis.
There is also a big debate amongst health experts around carbonation — whether it is good for our teeth and bones and gut…or not. But with all of this discussion around how sparkling water impacts our personal health, we are missing the big picture.
Food and beverage packaging and containers are a BIG part of our garbage problem. Both plastic and aluminum, commonly used for sparkling water, have terrible effects on the environment. It produces a great amount waste and greenhouse gas in its production and disposal.
Why is sparkling water bad from a sustainability perspective?
- The packaging causes so much waste!
- It’s no longer enough to make choices that benefit our own personal health, we must also take steps that support the long-term health and prosperity of the planet.
- Aluminum is better than plastic in that 68% of it is recycled vs. a mere 9% of plastic. But the mining of aluminium is problematic for the planet and there are terrible human costs as well.
- And then there’s the plastic that is broken down into microplastic. Smaller and smaller pieces that end up in our air, soil, and water, and eventually in our lungs and bellies. Recently microplastic has been discovered in human lungs.
- Bottom line: both materials are terrible for society and environment, in multiple ways.
What is the alternative to store-bought sparkling water?
- DIY your own flavoured water. Make a new batch every couple of days and leave it in the fridge so you can partake whenever the mood strikes.
- Normalize BYOB. Carry your own flask or bottle everywhere. Ask restaurants and cafes for tap water for your bottles when you stop in for a coffee or meal.
- Push back against the growing trend of bottled and canned waters. Companies need to stop cranking out product after new product of sparkling water. Instead they can close the loop with a good for us, good for the planet end-of-life disposal strategy for all the single use plastic that is being generated. A strategy that doesn’t leave the clean-up for our children.