Humans are supposed to drink eight 8-oz. glasses of water a day to stay healthy and hydrated. And in the past decade, more people actually are reaching for water as their daily thirst-quenching drink rather than soda — a great step towards better health! But because so many of us are on-the-go, we are much more likely to drink water from bottles in our cars than from glasses sitting at a dining room table. However, disposable plastic bottles have a huge impact on the environment.
Most empty water bottles are tossed into a garbage can rather than a recycling bin and end up in a landfill or incinerator. And by most, I mean billions of them every year. With billions more to come the next year. The Natural Resources Defense Council states that, “Most bottled water comes in recyclable PET plastic bottles, but only about 13 percent of the bottles we use get recycled. In 2005, 2 million tons of plastic water bottles ended up clogging landfills instead of getting recycled.”
Plastic water bottles also require a huge amount of oil in the process of getting into our hands. Yes, the trucks and ships that transport pallets of water bottles around the world daily require energy, and don’t forget about the bottles themselves! Plastic is a petroleum product and water bottle manufacturing in the U.S. alone requires millions of barrels of oil. Not to mention, when you buy a whole case of water the whole thing comes shrink wrapped in plastic as well.
You can choose help diminish the environmental impact from plastic water bottles with a few simple actions:
- Avoid plastic water bottles. Instead use a water filtration system at work and at home, and use glasses and/or reusable water bottles. My favorite is the glass Camelbak Eddy
- When you must use plastic water bottles, always recycle them. Even if it’s not convenient and it means carrying around your empty bottle for a while until you spot a recycling container.
- Encourage recycling in your community. If your neighborhood streets and parks have trash bins but no recycling bins, petition your local government.
Also, this quick video does a great job of showing how water bottles are marketed, manufactured and disposed of — with shocking truths all the way through the process…