Water doesn’t go bad. It doesn’t get moldy, it doesn’t turn sour. So why do bottling companies put expiration dates on the water bottles?
Once upon a time manufacturers would print the same expiration date on all bottled water – a maximum of two years after the date of the production. Nowadays bottling companies use different methods and measurements in order to determine when the water will no longer be drinkable. However, the date they put on the labels isn’t about the water’s shelf life, it’s about the shelf life of the bottle. Since most bottles are made from PET (polyethylene terephthalate) and HDPE (high-density polyethylene), the expiration date shows when these bottles will start ruining the water. Of course, they wouldn’t really spoil it, but they will leave a slight unpleasant smell, taste and a dose of chemical contamination. However, the specialists state that a bad “plastic” taste doesn’t mean the water is bad, just as the absence of such a taste doesn’t necessarily mean that the water is drinkable.
The process is the same with other bottled drinks. In fact, manufacturers often use the same machines to bottle water as they do for other soft drinks, and the expiration date is applied as standard. It makes better business sense to have an unnecessary expiration date stamped on the water bottles than it does to invest in a machine specifically for bottling water.