So let me tell you about my nemesis… plastic water bottles. And before you turn away because you think you’ve heard it all give me a chance. I understand the convenience factor that can play a role with these unsustainable landfill filling bottles. I can’t even claim that I always take the high ground. There are times, such as at amusement parks, where I don’t want to be lugging around my reusable tap-water filled bottle… and I have on occasion given in to temptation. In fact, I used to be the type of person who sat in my living room drinking from a plastic water bottle… I’ve come a long way from there.
Let me tell you why these are so horrible for the environment:
- There are alternatives! It’s not like this is the only way you can have water on the go! There are all sorts of reusable bottles now and if you “hate the way tap water tastes” there are filters everywhere! Get a Brita!
- These are completely recyclable and yet most people don’t recycle them. Maybe that says something about the lack of recycling in some parts of the country, however, there’s no excuse for these to end up in landfills when they can be recycled. (It’s said that about 80% end up in landfills instead of being recycled). And in case you didn’t know… plastic doesn’t biodegrade so it’ll be there for our children’s children’s children’s children’s……..etc. children.
- A lot of plastic water bottles leach chemicals into your water! I’m sure I don’t need to point this out, but this is horrible for you!
- Most bottled water: including many leading brands hold only purified water: the same as if you had gotten a Brita and filtered it yourself… not some magical stream’s water.
- Approximately 17 million barrels of oil a year are used in the production of your water bottles. That’s a lot of fossil fuel!
- Tap water is held to stricter regulations than bottled water!
- If you think the prices at the pump are bad: do the math on the difference between how much your tap water costs you versus your bottled water. You’ll be amazed at how horribly you’re being ripped off.
- Millions of gallons of water are used to make the plastic bottles that then hold water purified by more water. I don’t know if you know this, but the amount of clean drinking water in the world is steadily decreasing… and I’m pretty sure that using a lot of water to drink a little water probably doesn’t help matters much.
- If you’re still worried about your tap water check out the EPA’s frequently asked questions here.
- Check out some other information here (including the fact that the US consumes 1500 plastic water bottles a second).
- At the start of writing this, I told my mom that I would try to include a list of which plastic water bottles are more eco-friendly… the problem is, the more research I did the more I realized that there’s no such thing as a “more eco-friendly” plastic water bottle. They aren’t even healthy for you so the fact that they’re definitely not healthy for the planet shouldn’t surprise you. Tap water is by far better for your health and the planet. And with so many tools to purify it, etc. I really can’t condone the use of plastic water bottles. If you have to use them, try to use one with less plastic… and definitely 100% recycle it.