Singapore is considered as one of the cleanest countries in the world. Hence it's not surprising that the tap water quality in the city state far exceeds the WHO standards. However, surprisingly, the bottled water business in the country is at its peak. The industry is estimated to be $134 million in 2015, a 24 percent rise in five years.
So what is the secret behind this obsession for bottled water in Singapore? Most of these bottled water products claim to be made from mineral-rich springs, including market dominators like F&N's Ice Mountain and Coca-Cola's Dasani, which makes almost half of the total sales.
However, a report published on Channel News Asia confirmed that Ice Mountain is sourced from tap water in Malaysia while Dasani is produced from local water supply from the neighboring country. However, both these companies have said that the water undergoes a slew of purification processes.
The interesting scenario is that the clean drinking tap water costs thousand times less than the bottled water but Singaporeans seem to have a special obsession. A bottled 600ml water costs between S$0.50 to S$1 while the same amount of tap water only costs 0.1 cents.
Experts opine that the price differentiation is not sufficient to motivate consumers from using tap water. Another reason is the relatively low cost of bottled water which makes it easy to carry. The use and throw habit is also a result if the highly mobile and on-the-go environment.
In addition, experts also state that people 'just do not have the knowledge' or don't have the required trust in tap water. Moreover, a bottle of mineral water is always a healthy option than any soft drinks.
The PUB is taking rigorous measures to ensure that the tap water is clean and wholesome throughout the country. In fact, they are also keeping a track of the entire water system to monitor the process. So far, several campaigns have been initiated to promote and persuade citizens to drink tap water rather than spending money on bottled water.
So far, several campaigns have been initiated to persuade citizens and restaurants to drink tap water rather than spending money on bottled water. Across the globe, many environmental experts have raised concerns over the excess use of plastics, especially as water bottles. Countries like the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada have already taken measures to curb plastic bottles and now it looks like Singapore will follow the suit soon.