Bottled water is one of the most perverse use of resources. People in the western world, where there is an ample supply of good, clean tap water, buy billions of bottles of water every year, and the number is increasing.
Americans consume about 50 billion plastic water bottles a year. However, the U.S.’s recycling rate for plastic is only 23 percent, which means 38 billion water bottles – more than $1 billion worth of plastic – are wasted each year.
Plastic bottles are not sustainable
Bottles are manufactured, filled, and shipped around the globe, using enormous amounts of energy, that didn’t need to be used. Plastic is not biodegradable and can leach toxins into the ground for a thousand years.
Even recycling them is unsustainable, 6 out of 7 plastic bottles consumed in the U.S. are downcycled, meaning they aren’t made into bottles, they are made into something less.
Some bottled water is tap water at 10,000 times the cost
Only some bottled water comes from springs or groundwater sources. It turns out that approximately 25% of bottled water is sourced from the tap.
Studies show that bottled water samples can contain phthalates, mold, microbes, benzene, trihalomethanes, and even arsenic.
Many bottled waters contain toxins, even if they are BPA free.
Companies increasingly use BPA-free plastic, but plastic bottles have other chemicals that can seep out if bottles are exposed to heat or sit around for a long time.
Staying hydrated is crucial for health and well-being. It is recommended that you should drink at least two litres (eight cups) of water a day, however:
- Don’t buy bottled water, unless there really is no alternative.
- Drink tap water, filter it if you are concerned about it’s quality.
- Choose a durable, re-useable water bottle to take with you.