Despite the environmental and health concerns associated with bottled water, it remains a popular product in the United States and throughout much of the world, despite some governments considering banning its sale. The statistics associated with water bottle consumption certainly help illustrate how significant of an issue it actually is. These statistics state:
- To bio-degrade, the plastic used to package water requires more than 1,000 years. If this plastic is incinerated along with regular trash, it emits toxic fumes.
- Only PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles can be recycled, limiting the options for recycling plastic water bottles, meaning only 20% of bottles are sent to the recycling bin and all other bottles are discarded.
- Experts estimate that over 80% of all single-use water bottles used in the U.S. end up becoming litter.
- Landfills in the United States are overcrowded with 2 million tons of discarded water bottles.
- To meet the demand of U.S. water bottle manufacturing, more than 1.5 million barrels of oil are required, exceeding the amount needed to power 100,000 for a year by a long shot. This does not account for fossil fuel and emission costs of greenhouse gases needed to transport the water bottles to market.
- Approximately three liters of water is used to package just a single liter of bottled water.
- Americans drink more bottled water than milk or beer a year, and bottled water consumption increases by 10% each year.
Keep reading below for the tops reasons you should avoid single-use plastic water bottles.
Single-use plastic bottles have a really high carbon footprint as they require a lot of resources to manufacture, fill, and transport across the world. It is impossible to guarantee that water bottles are being recycled, and the ones that aren’t recycled take an absurdly long time to decompose. Buying and using a plastic water bottle to rehydrate can have a lasting effect of 1,000 years. Avoiding single-use plastic water bottles is the best way to play your part to ensure that plastic water bottles don’t end up in a landfill (or even in our streets and waterways), adding toxins into the environment.
While more manufacturers of water bottles are beginning to transition to BPA-free plastic, there are other potentially harmful chemicals still found in plastic bottles. Similar to BPA, these other chemicals can leach into the water if they are exposed to heat or left to sit for a prolonged length of time. Although experts have not identified all of the potential health effects of these lesser-known chemicals, they concede that we should take a precautionary approach when it comes to consuming them. Additional studies have also shown that there are microplastics in bottled water.
According to Harvard Engineering and Utilities and Poland Springs, bottled water is approximately 3,000% more expensive per gallon than tap water, at $0.64 per gallon (in comparison to $.02 per gallon of tap water).
There is a simple solution to helping combat this issue. Choose to refuse single-use plastic water bottles by carrying your own reusable alternative with you. Don’t feel discouraged if you forget your reusable water bottle when you go somewhere, you can most likely ask a cafe for a glass of water, or perhaps even find an eco-friendly water bottle alternative to purchase. Boxed Water, for instance, is manufactured from sustainable, well-managed forests, and is 100% recyclable. This product has a 64% lower carbon footprint than plastic bottles, 43% fewer fossil fuels, and a 1,084% lower impact on our ozone. Boxed Water is available for purchase at a variety of retailers, cafes, and even fitness studios.
With the effects of global warming continuing to grow, it’s more important than ever to take action to reduce our environmental footprint and waste as much as possible. One small and impactful adjustment we can all make is to ditch single-use plastic bottles. If you’re looking for other ways that you can help positively impact our planet, be sure to familiarize yourself with Spring Power & Gas’ innovative electricity and natural gas solutions.