Seriously, What's With All The Bottled Water?
According to the Pacific Institute, the energy required to produce plastic water bottles for the American market alone in 2006 was equivalent to more than 17 million barrels of oil and created 2.5 million tons of carbon dioxide. Producing bottles consumes a huge amount of water too, with the Pacific Institute estimating it takes three litres of water to produce one litre of bottled water. It also takes energy to fill the bottles; ship them by truck, train, boat or plane to the consumer; refrigerate them; and recover, recycle or dispose of the empty bottles. The Pacific Institute estimates the total amount of energy used to provide a bottle of water to the consumer could be equal to filling 25 per cent of that bottle with oil. Unfortunately, most empty bottles – more than 85 per cent according to the David Suzuki Foundation – are thrown into the trash. These bottles don’t just disappear – they either get buried in the landfill or they’re incinerated. The buried bottles take up to 1,000 years to biodegrade and may leak toxic additives into the groundwater. The incinerated bottles release toxic chemicals into our air. Moreover, some of the bottles make their way into our oceans, where they break down into increasingly tiny pieces, and can enter the food chain when they’re eaten by marine animals and birds.