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Think before you drink: The environmental cost of bottled water

April 2016

Global Food Waste Statistics

Bottled water is the ultimate corporate ruse: taking something we can get for free and selling it back to us for up to 2000x the price. On top of this fraudulent facet of the trade, it also contributes, entirely unnecessarily, to resources waste and global warming. Not only do companies have to make the bottles, expending 17,000,000 barrels of oil and an extortionate amount of water in the process, but they then have to pump and process fresh water into the bottles before transporting them all over the world in refrigerated vehicles. Considering 200 billion bottles of water are consumed globally each year, that’s a lot of unnecessary greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere.

Not all plastic bottles can be recycled either, only those made from PET plastic, and never the bottle caps. Of the 200 billion bottles consumed annually, 176 billion go to landfill sites or to the sea. The impact on our wildlife is alarming: animals from albatrosses to sperm whales are constantly being found dead with their stomachs and intestines full of plastic bottles and bottle caps. As for human health, we’re still unsure about the long term effects of plastic to our environment and our ecosystem. If we keep producing plastic at this rate and it never degrades, then what will happen to it all?

What with the world’s increasing population, the rising industrial pollution and the unstoppable forces of multinational corporations, clean water is hard to come by for many in the world. Whilst these people are denied their basic human right to safe water, we are not only permitting but are actively contributing to the commercialisation of water by buying bottles. These corporations take water from needy countries and sell it to those who already have it. Avoid this corruption and pollution, and drink tap water wherever possible.

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