Why choose reusable water bottles filled with tap water over disposable, plastic bottles? Where should we start?
The (Not Very) Green Nature of Bottled Water
- In 2005, 28 billion bottles of water were sold, mostly in PET containers. In 2004, the last year for which data is available, 85 percent of all non-carbonated PET bottles ended up in landfills or as litter. That’s 24 billion empty water bottles—66 million every day—in ONE YEAR!
- The production of bottled water for U.S. consumption in 2006 required the equivalent of more than 17 million barrels of oil (not including transport), releasing over 2.5 million tons of carbon dioxide, a major global warming gas.
- The total amount of energy embedded in the use of bottled water is the equivalent of filling a plastic bottle one quarter full of oil.
Bottled Water Costs A Lot of Money
- Bottled water is touted as a healthy, trendy drink, without mention that it can cost 500 to 4,000 times more than tap water.
- The recommended eight glasses of water a day costs about $.49 per year. The same amount of bottled water costs about $1,400.
- Yearly worldwide bottled water sales are estimated at between $50 and $100 billion
Bottled Water is Not Better
- Bottled water is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, which has weaker regulations than the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulations for tap water. Bottled water sold within states is regulated only by state agencies.
- About 70 percent of bottled water never crosses state lines for sale, making it exempt from FDA oversight.
- US municipal water systems are well regulated by the EPA, and are regularly inspected for bacteria and toxic chemicals.
- When the National Resources Defense Council tested more than 1,000 bottles including 103 bottled water brands, they found contamination (including arsenic, synthetic organics, and bacteria) exceeding allowable limits in at least one sample from about one-third of the brands.
Ready to do something?
There’s a simple solution to avoiding bottled water: buy a reusable water bottle—and use it. Don’t like the taste of your tap water? It’s much cheaper to install an inexpensive carbon water filter on your tap than to depend on bottled water.