Plastic Water Bottles Are A Waste!
Since when did Earth’s most abundant free natural resource become a commercial commodity? Right about the 1980s actually, and according to the Worldwatch Institute, global bottled water consumption has more than quadrupled since the 1990s. Its seems ridiculous that we get so much of our water this way when there is free water from the tap that is just as good for you.
Today the United States consumes over 30 billion liters of water out of some 50 billion plastic water bottles every year. In 2008 the Beverage Marketing Association reported that bottled water made up over 28 percent of the U.S. liquid refreshment beverage market. The only bottled beverages that out sells water are carbonated sodas like Soda and Pepsi.
And how much energy is needed to meet America’s demand on water bottles...1.5 million barrels of oil annually. That’s enough to fuel 100,000 cars for a year! The Environmental Policy Institute (EPI) reported about 2.7 million tons of petroleum-derived plastic are used globally to bottle water every year. Sure, the water bottles can be recycled, but according the Container Recycling Institute, 86 percent of plastic bottles in the U.S. ends up as garbage or litter.
Can consumers really afford this ridiculous waste? The Environmental Working Group (EWG) stated that bottled water cost 1,900 times more than tap water. Moreover, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) reported that 90 percent of the cost of water bottles pays for everything except the water. Rather it pays for bottling, packaging, shipping, marketing, and other expenses including profit of course.
The EWG also encourages consumers to oppose buying water bottles and use filtered tap water instead. They encourages this because in a recent survey, they found that 18 percent of the 173 bottled waters on the U.S. market today fail to list the location of their source, and a third did not disclose anything about the treatment or purity of their water. “Among the ten best-selling brands, nine – Pepsi’s Aquafina, Coca-Cola’s Dasani, Crystal Geyser and six of seven Nestle brands – don’t answer at least one of those questions,” reports EWG.
If you would like to know more about various water bottle brands, the EWG’s Bottled Water Scorecard offers free information where they originate and whether and how they are treated to remove contaminants.
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Image courtesy of Creative Commons.
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