It’s week four of 52 Weeks for Earth, the 52-week challenge to gradually reduce your impact on the planet. Last week we tackled disposable coffee cups, and this week it’s time to put an end to the rest of your single-use plastic beverage use. Let’s stop buying plastic water bottles!
With the markup of bottled water being up to 3000x the cost of tap water, it seems crazy in the first place that companies have convinced you to pay for the INconvenience of a single-use bottle of water.
This billion dollar industry has terrible impact on our planet. Consider the emissions caused by the production of plastic for bottles, the water bottling process, transportation of water to the factory, and then bottled water to you. Only 20% of water bottles are recycled, the rest go to landfill and have become the 3rd highest item responsible for ocean litter. The industry is also responsible for causing water shortages in the communities they’re bottled in.
So what possible reason could make someone pay this high cost, both financially and impact on the planet, just for bottled water?
A. It’s convenient.
Hardly! The effort taken to purchase a single-use bottle, break the seal, consume before finding a way to dispose of the bottle (hopefully to recycling, where transportation and treatment processes are undertaken for it to be turned into a lower-grade plastic (not used to make more water bottles)), and then having to purchase another bottle next time you’re thirsty surely outweighs the simplicity of just turning a tap to fill your reusable bottle for free whenever and wherever you please.
It takes three times more water to produce a plastic water bottle than it does to fill one.
A. It’s better for you, or it just tastes better.
Bottled water is held to food standards, meaning its factories are checked and regulated far less frequently than modern water treatment plants. Plus, the cheap plastics used for disposal bottles are leaking toxins into the water you’re consuming. If you don’t like the taste of your tap water, try a filtered water pitcher.
22 percent of bottled brands tested contained chemicals at levels above state health limits in at least one sample.
The solution to plastic bottle use is just like your new reusable coffee mug; you just need to get a quality reusable bottle to take your water with you. I encourage you to choose a bottle made of glass or metal, over plastic. This is because they’re truly recyclable materials, and are easier to clean and maintain. But if it’s a plastic BPA-free bottle you already have, use that!
The bottled water industry has some of the worst impacts on the planet. Luckily, quitting this wasteful habit is easy, and even comes free from the tap!