Reduce Waste: Tapping the Benefits of Tap Water in the Restaurant


metal pitcher of water in restaurant

When it comes to drinking water, many people prefer commercially bottled water to water served from the tap. However, the disadvantages of plastic water bottles are beginning to make a splash in the restaurant industry, tainting the concept of bottled water altogether. Many restaurant owners have stopped serving bottled water altogether, choosing to serve tap water in order to reduce waste.

Turn on the Tap

Many people are turned off by tap water. One possible reason is because of its taste. Depending on sources and treatments, tap water can taste different from location to location. Taste is not necessarily an indication of cleanliness, however. In fact, the EPA provides standards for treating all tap water from public water systems. More than 90 percent of water systems in the U.S. meet these standards for water safety. The FDA’s standards for bottled water are far less stringent. In fact, bottled water may not be treated at all. On top of that, it costs much more than tap water and creates far more waste.

Facts about Bottled Water

Plastic water bottles are made from petroleum resources. Their extreme production and poor recycling rate consumes obscene amounts of oil every year, making the bottled water industry one of the most wasteful in the U.S. By choosing not to sell bottled water in your establishment, you are helping to reduce vast amounts of waste.

  • About two million tons of plastic are used to bottle water around the world every year.
  • Almost 90 percent of plastic water bottles are not recycled and are sent to landfills.
  • It can take as long as 1,000 years for a plastic bottle to break down in a landfill.
  • About 1.5 million barrels of oil are used every year used to make plastic water bottles. That’s enough to fuel 100,000 cars for a year.
  • If everyone in New York City used a reusable water bottle for one month, studies show that it would save about 112 million plastic water bottles.

Tap Into Alternatives

More plastic means more garbage. Installing glass fillers is an eco-conscious alternative to selling bottled water. They are relatively inexpensive and simple to use, and provide cold, treated tap water at a much more reasonable price than bottled water. Your restaurant may take a bit of a profit hit, but it is practically guaranteed that you will help reduce waste with this environmentally-friendly move.

High-end commercial kitchens or bars may want to add carbonators to give customers sparkling water on tap. Although not very common in the commercial setting, these devices easily combine cold tap with CO2 gas to make soda water.

Recycling: A Solution for Everyone

Even with these startling statistics, bottled water will not disappear overnight. A practical solution is recycling. Educating operators and customers alike about the problems with trashing so much plastic can encourage improved recycling habits, which in turn improves our environment. » Learn More


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