Should we be using bottled water?
Some good reasons for drinking water from a water fountain and a refillable sports
bottle instead of buying bottled water! ....
- Britain consumes 3bn litres of bottled water per year
- Typically bottled water retails at up to 500 times more than the price
of tap water
The bottled water market is the fastest growing drinks market in the
Tap water in developed nations is transported from treatment works in
underground pipes and requires much less embodied energy than the production,
distribution and ‘disposal’ of bottled water
The UK bottled water industry is worth ~£2bn per year
The majority of bottled water is sold in PET (polyethylene terephthalate)
bottles. All PET bottles can be recycled.
For 2007 it is estimated that 13bn plastic bottles of water were sold
in the UK of which only 3bn were recycled
Most plastic bottles for bottled water are produced using a virgin petroleum
162g of oil and seven litres of water are required to manufacture a single
one litre volume disposable PET bottle and this amounts to the release of
100g of carbon dioxide (CO2) a major greenhouse gas (GHG)
Some research has claimed that drinking ‘a bottle’ of water
has the same impact on the environment as driving ‘a car’ for
The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) campaigns strongly that bottled
water is not only environmentally unfriendly but also a waste of consumers
- 50% of bottled water contains added minerals and salts. This does not mean
that it is more ‘healthy’
- The UK bottled water industry has made some changes recently. PET plastic bottles have been redesigned so that they are 30% lighter than 15 years ago and increasing amounts of recycled plastic are used to manufacture the bottles themselves, but there is litter problem with many discarded PET bottles and other ‘waste’ plastics.
Recycling rates though improving are still low in the UK as a whole. Today nearly 35% of PET plastic bottles in household waste streams are now collected for recycling. In 2001 it was 3%.
Hence the majority of used water bottles are disposed of to landfill, which
is not sustainable. Fewer are incinerated with some energy being recovered.
Many ’discarded’ bottles become environmental pollution and
can be found in hedgerows, parks, streams and rivers. Via rivers they can
be transported to the open seas.
Eastern Garbage Patch is an area 6 times the size of England, where plastic
outweighs plankton by 6:1. It is the world's largest waste dump. The Plastiki project is helping to change attitudes towards the world's oceans,
the whole idea of ‘waste' and the increasingly unacceptable reality
A community of tap water drinkers can be found at Join The Pipe.
Information from reputable sources including the British Plastics Federation and PET Plastic bottles – facts not myths,