Bottled Water Waste Facts

Bottled history

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TheWorldCounts, 15 March, 2014

Bottled history

There was a time when it was safe to drink the water from our faucets. But for the past 50 years, pollution has become a concern that people became afraid that the toxins were seeping into our water system, especially in the cities. The past 20 years has seen a surge in people’s desire to be healthy and drink safe water… and the bottled water became a regular and popular commodity. 

But is drinking bottled water really a health solution, or is it adding to our environmental problems, or maybe masking a problem that most people are not aware of? Is bottled water really safer than tap water or is it just commercial propaganda?

The facts

Here are some bottled water waste facts that you need to know, so you can make an informed decision when it comes to choosing the water you drink. 

  • Most of the bottled water you buy is just glorified tap water. There are a few brands whose water really comes from springs and mountain streams, but most are just tap water that’s been purified.
  • Only 1 out of 5 plastic bottles is recycled. The rest just becomes litter or get buried somewhere. (1)
  • It takes 1 PET plastic bottle 700 years to start decomposing. Bacteria, which usually helps in breaking down organic materials, don’t like petroleum based plastics. Technically, they can last forever.
  • More than 100 million plastic bottles are used worldwide every day! (2)
  • 90% of the cost of bottled water is due to the packaging, not the water quality. (3)
  • 3 liters of water is used to package 1 bottle of water.
  • Plastic water bottles are petroleum based. In the U.S alone, it takes 1.5 million barrels of oil to meet the demands.
  • An estimate 1,500 plastic bottles end up as waste in landfills or thrown in the ocean every second.
  • There’s an area in the Pacific Ocean the size of Texas - known as The Great Pacific Garbage Patch – which is composed of plastic. (2)
  • Plastic is listed as the number one threat to our marine ecosystem.
  • The energy used to manufacture bottled water can power 190,000 homes.
  • Antimony, which causes dizziness and depression and even death can be found in PET plastic bottles. (4)
  • Plastic bottles also contain Bisphenol A which has been linked to obesity, diabetes and cancer.
  • The plastic bottles may be BPA-Free but there are chemicals in the bottles, such as phthalates, can seep into the drink and be harmful to your health.

From these data, it’s clear that bottling water is not a health solution, but an illusion that needs to stop. Due to these environmental issues, some countries are thinking of banning the manufacture of water bottles. From your end, how can you do your share in stopping the accumulation of plastic wastes?

Bringing your own container that you can refill and purchasing your own filtration system to purify your tap water are just a couple of suggestions which can save the planet, your health and your cash.

References

  1. http://thewaterproject.org/bottled_water_wasteful.asp 
  2. http://science.howstuffworks.com/science-vs-myth/everyday-myths/how-long-does-it-take-for-plastics-to-biodegrade.htm 
  3. http://www.safebottles.co.nz/News/Plastics+and+the+Environment.html
  4. http://greenupgrader.com/3258/plastic-bottle-facts-make-you-think-before-you-drink/
  5. http://www.banthebottle.net/bottled-water-facts/

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