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Bottled Wate: Why Cut Back On Plastic

Updated on January 13, 2014
Crushed Plastic Bottles
Crushed Plastic Bottles

I am trying to cut plastic bottles out of my life. I have been using a steel water bottle for years. However, every now and then I find myself drinking from a disposable plastic bottle. With a constant bombardment of hearing plastic bottles are bad, it is easy to just repeat back, “Plastic bottles are bad”. When looking at it more closely, it’s scary how bad. We all know the damage it does to the environment, but it also has a negative impact on people’s health and financial well-being.

If you look at the numbers here in the US, the results are staggering. There are 33 billion bottles of water bought annually and the average American drinks 19 bottles of water every month. Of all these water bottles, 80% are not recycled.

Getting water from a bottle is extremely inefficient and expensive. It takes 3 liters of water to make 1 liter of bottled water. In a time when foreign oil security, fossil fuel pollution and energy cost are on people’s minds, companies are using 17 million barrels of oil a year to make bottled water. This number doesn’t include the transportation of these water bottles once they are made to when you bring them home.

Financially buying bottled water doesn’t make a lot of common sense. While people are paying over a dollar for a liter of water, they can get a gallon for less than a penny right from the tap. Most of the cost is going to the bottle itself and not the water you are drinking. For the vast majority of people out there, it is not a better quality of water than what you can get from the tap. In fact, about 40% of bottled water comes from municipal water sources or as it is better known tap water. On top of this, there is less testing and regulations required for bottled water than there is for tap water. When testing was done on bottled water, 22% of the brands tested contained chemical contamination levels above what is acceptable for state health limits.

Plastic Bottles on the Beach
Plastic Bottles on the Beach

As I stated at the beginning, I am attempting to cut plastic bottles out of my life. Not only with water but sodas, juices, and my biggest weakness sports drinks. Do I think water bottles are pure evil, No. When natural disasters strike bottled water is shipped for people to have a clean drinking supply. Less drastic, I understand why water bottles are used at a business function or party. The other choices are more than likely going to be using plastic cups or even using several washable glasses because guest keep forgetting which one is theirs. However, I know the amount of plastic bottles we use can be greatly reduced.


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