CNA reports that S’poreans spend S$134m on “bottled water addiction” when our tap water is perfectly safe to drink.
A 600ml bottle of drinking water usually retails for about S$0.50 to S$1. According to PUB, the same amount of tap water only costs 0.1 cent, making it 500 to 1,000 times cheaper than bottled water. This price differential, while significant, is not sufficient to motivate consumers to move more to tap water, said Prof Ng, who is the executive director of the Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute at NTU.
The relatively low retail cost of bottled water also appears to be a small price to pay for the convenience of not having to carry a bottle around to be refilled, said Prof Ong, director of the NUS Environmental Research Institute. “It’s hard to convince people that they don’t need to be spending the money they spend on bottled water, because (at) S$1 a bottle, that’s cheap to many.”
So why not tax bottled water? After all drinking it is a waste of money and resources when there’s the tap.