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🤖 Bottled Water Is the New Cigarettes

Talking Under Water

Photo by Andres Siimon / Unsplash

Table of Contents

Host: Katie Johns
Guest: Rich “Raz” Razgaitis | Co-Founder & CEO | FloWater
Category: 🤖 Technology

Podcast’s Essential Bites:

[13:30] “Microplastics are plastics that are generally defined as less than 5 millimeters in diameter. A microplastic would be something that is roughly the size or smaller than your thumb nail that enters the environment. And the way that that happens, generally speaking, is that plastics don’t biodegrade, they often photodegrade. So for example, when plastic makes its way into the water, it degrades through the sunlight and the sun rays and it turns into […] pieces to the point […] of nano particulates […] that can enter our food system and our waterways.”

[15:11] “If you look at the number of chemical compounds that are used to make cigarettes, it’s around 6,000. If you look at the number of chemical compounds that are used to make plastics and PET in particular, it’s around 10,000 chemicals. […] Some chemicals aren’t bad, but some chemicals are very bad […] for any number of human biome functions or simply environmental functions. […] [B]ig bottled water and plastics [are] very much like a new environmental cigarette. This is kind of the 2020/21/22 cigarette of the 1980s and 90s.”

[16:02] “What has happened is that we have consumed so much in the way of plastics over the last 30, 40, 50 years, and a lot of that is single use plastic water bottles, hundreds of billions into the environment every year worldwide, the majority of which end up getting thrown into the oceans, lakes, ricers, and landfills. […] The average American drinks or eats around one credit card worth of plastic every two weeks. […] In over 90% of the bottled water samples, those contained over 300 micro particulates of plastic per liter of water. […] What did surprise people is that they found almost the exact same results in tap water. […] So now, […] whether you are drinking bottled water or not, you are literally drinking bottled water.”

[17:30] “There are as many as 300,000 tons of microplastics that enter agricultural soils in North America every year. [But] what does this do? We don’t really know. […] We do know that in the same way that one cigarette isn’t […] really harmful for you […], but it ends up being this kind of cumulative dose response to things that should not be a part of the human biome and also just the ecological environment.”

[19:01] “I think municipal water treatment has done a phenomenal job considering what we have thrown at the environment over the last 50 years. […] Municipal water was never really designed to help remove, reduce, eradicate microplastics, just in the same was as it was never designed to be able to solve for Roundup that is making its way into oceans, lakes, rivers […] that make its way into water treatment facilities.”

[21:42] “Nothing will change the outcome of our environmental stewardship and our own health than people just taking action and not waiting for regulation. But that being said, regulation does help propel these things and bring them to the forefront. It started first with the single use plastics bags, there were a lot of bans that were occurring with that, which got temporarily lifted over the last year, but now many of them have been reinstated […]. I do think bottled water will follow soon. There are certain municipal areas in the city of San Francisco that were forbidden to selling bottled water about two years ago. […] I do think we will see some regulations that discourage single use PET, it’s not outright banning. […] If we look at treating bottled water the same way we looked at treating cigarettes and using tax implications and consequences to it to kind of clean up the aftereffects of tobacco and also bottled water, that would have a major effect on bottled water sales. That would be another form of kind of regulation.”

[23:39] “That regulation will only really manifest when it’s met with an alternative that consumers really like or love. […] Years ago there was a study done […] at the University of Calgary and […] they banned single use bottled water. […] And [the plastic consumption] actually stayed the same. […] What they found is that people switched from bottled water to bottled soda. […] So bans often do not work unless it’s met with products that consumers like as much as what you are banning or more.”

[26:07] “For many many decades there was […] this public service announcement […] around taking back the tap and driving consumers back to tap water. And that’s great. We should all be drinking tap water if you are willing to do that. The problem is that over 80% of Americans don’t like or don’t trust tap water. […] And so what we feel is a solution is ultimately to create a new platform of water so that you can fall in love with your tap water. And that’s what we’ve done with the FloWater systems. The way to solve this ultimately is get people to go back to the tap and not rely on single use PET, because it’s degrading the environment and […] the body.”

Rating: 💧💧💧

🎙️ Full Episode: Apple | Spotify (Original Title: “When it Rains, it Pours”)
🕰️ 37 min | 🗓️ 03/19/2021
✅ Time saved: 35 min

Additional Links:
Book: Freshwater Microplastics: Emerging Environmental Contaminants?