Why Bottled Water Has an Expiration Date

Did you know that even though there is an expiry date on the drinking/mineral water bottle, the drinking water does not actually expire.

Regulations specifying expiration dates on all food and drink, including plain water were used in New Jersey (1987), USA. It aimed to standardise water packaging.

Some drinking water is only given a ‘best by’ expiry date within two years or less from the date of packaging. This date can help in identifying how long the drinking water has been packed in its container.

This is because depending on the storage method, the level of exposure to light and temperature (for example if left in a car or exposed to direct sunlight) and the type of packaging material (especially plastic), can change the taste of drinking water.

Temperature and light can disrupt the construction material of plastic packaging containers and cause plastic components to leak into the drinking water.

Storage for a long period of time can also cause the stabilisers (antioxidants) in the container to decrease in function and also increase potential for bacterial contamination.

In addition, water also has the potential to absorb other gaseous chemicals from the environment causing the taste of the bottled water to change.

But don’t worry because most of the mineral water bottles are made of polyethylene terephthalate (PET-RIC No.1) and high-density polyethylene (HDPE-RIC No.2) plastic.

Despite the occurrence of leaks, these two types of plastic are among the safest of plastics and will NOT affect your health. So, even though the expiry date has passed, the drinking water is still safe to drink.

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One Comment

  1. Expiry and best by dates cause so much waste in the world. If you have any sense you should not need them, Expiry dates on tinned food ….. Just give us a production date and let us figure it out. Shops can not even give it away to the poor anymore as it’s “Expired”. These dates do improve profit for the shops and manufacturers though.

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