Plastic water bottles are terrible. There, I said it. Don’t get me wrong, they are convenient and hydration is important, but the bottles are terrible.
Did you know:
- It takes 17 million barrels of oil to make the bottles to meet America’s annual bottled water consumption. That’s enough to fuel more than 1 million cars for a year!
- That same process also emits 2.5 million tons of CO2.
- Bottled water is 3,000% more expensive per gallon than tap water.
- The federal government requires far more rigorous and frequent safety testing of municipal drinking water. Bottled water generally is no cleaner, safer, or healthier than tap water.
- Up to 50% of all bottled water comes straight from the tap—no extra filtering.
- Bottled water samples have been shown to contain phthalates, mold, microbes, benzene, trihalomethanes, and arsenic.
- If you leave that plastic bottle in your hot car it gets worse. The heat helps to leach synthetic chemicals which have been linked to cancer and it promotes bacterial growth that can be passed on to you and negatively affect your health.
- Only 14% of plastic water bottles get recycled. That mean 86% go to the landfill or become litter.
And none of these stats pertain to other plastic bottle beverages—when you consider pop, juice, and other drinks, the effect is staggering.
But wait there’s more!
The world spends more than $100 billion on bottled water a year which gives some corporations incredible power. They work through governments to privatize water sources. This is so prevalent it’s contributing to worldwide water scarcity. These corporations and some governments make money while the poorest citizens are left without a basic human necessity. Occupants of third-world countries may be forced to walk for a day to get water clean enough to drink, and we are affected too. Companies are taking water from streams and springs, even in drought stricken areas, draining crucial resources and leading to increased pollution.
So, what can you do?
- Don’t buy anything in plastic bottles.
- Instead, buy a reusable bottle and fill it with good ol’ tap water! Buy a filter if you need to.
- Order carafes of water with reusable glasses at your next event.
- Educate yourself and others, starting with this video.