Buying bottles has a great environmental impact. A multitude of resources are used for the production of the containers, labeling and transport of the bottles, which has a great environmental impact. Although many of the waste that is generated could be recycled, the truth is that a high percentage (millions of tons) of the waste end up abandoned in nature. The bottled water business moves billions annually.
Did you know that Mexico is the country that consumes the most bottled water in the world? The unreliability of the water operating systems, the increased access and convenience of bottled water and the lack of a regulatory structure that controls this growing industry are the reasons that lead Mexicans to buy bottled water in large quantities. It is estimated that in Mexico alone, 21 million plastic bottles are thrown away every day. You can get an idea of the environmental disaster that this consumption generates every day.
But there are also companies that are beginning to become aware of the big problem caused by plastic bottles, for example Selfridges, the second largest chain of department stores in the United Kingdom, which recently announced that it will stop selling water in plastic bottles in restaurants and in their shops. The measure aims to join the fight to avoid pollution by plastic waste in the oceans and encourage the chain’s customers to reduce its use. In 2014, Selfridges sold 400,000 plastic bottles.
According to one of the largest organizations of Consumers and Users in Spain, OCU, the consumption of tap water is a cheaper, more ecological and healthier option, which is why it suggested that public administrations demand that it be served preferably in restaurants and bars, as long as the taste of the water is adequate.
Plastic is a material that our planet cannot digest. I recommend you read this article where you will see the damage that plastic does to our planet every day.
Reasons not to consume bottled water.
Here are 7 reasons, although surely you can think of many more, not to consume bottled water:
1. Bottled water generates a lot of garbage.
Plastic is the most widely used material for bottling water in the world. You have to know that only one out of every four plastic bottles is recycled.
The rest of the plastic that is not recycled ends up in the seas, oceans, rivers and lakes, causing irreparable damage to many species of animals. I don’t know if you know Plastisfera, a marine ecosystem characterized by the presence of plastic waste in large ocean areas. A source of pollution with terrible environmental destruction that is almost impossible to recover.
Significantly reducing plastic packaging waste in this sector would reduce polluting and greenhouse gas emissions associated with the distribution and transport of bottles.
2. Its price is excessive.
The price of bottled water can be more than 1,000 times the price of tap water. Mexico is the country that consumes the most bottled water in the world, a year they consume 234 liters per person.
A liter of bottled water costs us up to 250 times more than a liter of tap water, that is, we pay for 5 liters of bottled water the same as for 1,000 liters from the tap.
3. It is not healthier than tap water.
Sometimes bottled water is no healthier than tap water. Some brands do not sell mineral water, they simply sell filtered tap water, which you can also do at home and much cheaper.
It is estimated that 40% of all bottled water in the world is taken from municipal water resources, come on, which is tap water.
As a consumer, you cannot be certain that bottled water is the cleanest and safest to drink. I’ve even read articles listing a number of diseases that this hair-raising habit can cause.
4. Bottling water consumes a large amount of natural resources.
Making a water bottle consumes three times the amount of water as the same water it will contain. Approximately 17 million barrels of oil are used for the production of bottles per year. Enough fuel for a million cars for a year.
To obtain a liter of bottled water, 100 times more electricity is required than for a liter of tap water.
5. Downplays public utility services.
People who consume bottled water are usually because they do not like the taste of local tap water or because they think it is healthier than tap water, or because they have doubts about its potability. The ideal would be to support and demand from our leaders the improvement of tap water.
6. Drinking water is privatized.
Drinking water is an increasingly scarce resource. Multinationals have their eye on “blue gold.” More and more sources of public drinking water are being transferred to private hands.
7. Its transportation consumes millions of liters of fuel.
An analysis showed that an ordinary Slovenian citizen (whose average bottled water consumption is 56 l / person in one year), who stops drinking bottled water and starts drinking tap water, would reduce their impact by drinking water by at least 36.81 kg of CO2 or 95% in four years. Additionally, the GHG reduction potential was also calculated. What was surprising about the results was to discover that a large part of the emissions originates in the transport between the different providers.
After everything you have read, if you decide to try to give up plastic consumption, I advise you to follow the advice of Merren Tait, a girl who has completely abandoned plastic consumption.
How to make a plastic bottle.
Most plastics have their origin in Petroleum. Bottles made from Petroleum have a fairly long process from when the crude is extracted until it ends up being a plastic bottle on the shelf of a store.
The manufacture of plastic follows a different process according to the product to be manufactured. In the case of water bottles, polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is used, a product obtained from hydrocarbons. Once the PET resin is obtained, the industries by injection of stretch and blow obtain the final container. In the whole process, the one that carries the most environmental burdens is the purification of terephthalic acid since it emits greenhouse gases.
Reuse of Bottles.
Plastic bottles are so abundant in our current society that ideas of all kinds have emerged to reuse them. From bird feeders, to plastic brooms , a homemade solar heater for the bravest, or a Christmas tree, a homemade watering can, or a surfboard !
There are some projects that caught our attention for their originality, a spectacular multi-colored ceiling, a hydroponic garden for the windows, turning them into rope or using them as raw material in a 3D printer.
We share a video with hundreds of ideas:
Alternatives to bottled water.
- Swap the PET bottle for a reusable bottle. Invest in a reusable bottle that fits your needs.
- Run a water purifier or filter your tap water, if you don’t like the taste of it.
I recommend the documentary “Enroscados, the battle of water.” Issued on Documentos TV: La 2 de RTVE. It will make it very clear what the business behind bottled water is like:
It is interesting to know which are the types of plastics that we are most likely to find.
Buying bottled water not only waste water and money unnecessarily, sometimes on water with much lower standards compared to tap, but we also pollute the planet with millions of tons of plastic bottles made from petroleum that take more than 1000 years to fully degrade.