I read an informative article today called Bottled Water 101. Bottled water is not only bad for the environment, but also can be bad for your health, too. In recent years, the downside of bottled water has been exposed to the public. There are numerous reasons water bottles aren’t green, including:
- Bottles made from plastics #1, 3, 6 and 7 have been linked to health problems and may contain the hormone disrupting chemical BPA (typically marked with #7)
- An average of 38 billion water bottles per year–85 percent of all plastic water bottles used in the U.S.—end up in the trash, rather than being recycled (source: the Container Recycling Institute)
- 60 – 70% of all bottled water sold in the U.S. is exempt from the FDA’s bottled water standards because federal standards do not apply to water bottled and sold within the same state (source: Natural Resources Defense Council)
- Bottled water produces up to 1.5 million tons of plastic waste per year. According to Food and Water Watch, that plastic requires up to 47 million gallons of oil per year to produce.
- Bottled water was a $15 billion dollar industry in 2007, making it one of the most profitable segments of the beverage industry (source: Fast Company).
- For every liter of water that goes into a bottle, two liters of water are used to make the plastic bottles and bottle the water (source: Food & Water Watch)
Another thing to be aware of–25-40% of bottled water is actually tap water. According to Greenlivingonline.com, “Companies, like Coca Cola and Pepsi, take the water for free, running it through some filters, pour it into a bottle with a fancy name and then sell it back to us at a price 240 to 10,000 times higher than tap water.”
So I’m sure you’re now wondering about alternatives to bottled water! Adding a water cooler to your home or office and adding a water filter to your sink, or using a portable water filter like Brita, are easy substitutes. If you plan to carry water, buying a reusable bottle is a must.
When you look for a reuseable bottle, it is important to choose a stainless steal, aluminum or BPA-free plastic bottle. In addition to eliminating waste, carrying a reusable bottle reduces the use of fossil fuels and toxic greenhouse gases which are emitted during the plastic bottle manufacturing process.