Eco Water Socal

The Environmental Impact of Bottled Water

Bottled water is more than just an overpriced alternative to a home water solution from EcoWater — it’s a devastating environmental problem. And while the U.S. population mostly understands the need to recycle, it doesn’t happen as frequently as it should. And even if we were successful in recycling 100% of all water bottles, there are still a whole host of issues many of us never think about. So as you consider having an EcoWater home water solution installed in your home to ensure your family always has clean tap water, let’s take a minute to examine the environmental issues to which you contribute when you buy bottled water.

The truth about recycling

When we recycle a water bottle, we experience a nice-but-short-lived feeling of accomplishment. We feel like we’ve done a good deed. And while recycling is important, few of us do it with any real regularity. Only about one in every five water bottles is actually sent to a recycling bin. That means eighty percent of all water bottles we purchase end up in a landfill.

U.S. landfills are already overflowing with more than 2 million tons of unrecycled water bottles, and taking up valuable space that should be used for different forms of refuse. And once they’re in a landfill, there are two options for their disposal:

  1. Wait for them to biodegrade – If you choose this route, you better get comfortable, because you’re going to be waiting for a long time. For a water bottle to biodegrade, it takes about 1,000 years. Those water bottles will live longer than you and the next 10 generations of your family.
  2. Incinerate them – This solution eliminates the longevity problem, but it creates a new one: toxic fumes. When plastic is burned, harmful dioxins are released and can leak into the environment, further poisoning groundwater.
Credit: Alba_alioth/Shutterstock
Credit: Alba_alioth/Shutterstock

An unseen oil problem

The production of plastic water bottles requires oil — an already-dwindling natural resource. And the amount of oil necessary to make the bottles is not inconsequential: to meet the U.S. demand for bottled water, it takes more than 1.5 million barrels of oil. With that amount of oil, you could create enough power for 100,000 people that would last an entire year.

Using oil to produce plastic bottles only adds to our environmental crisis. You also have to consider the harmful emissions caused by using fossils fuels to transport water bottles from production facilities to retail stores. An unfathomable amount of greenhouse gases is released
into the air just to be able to keep water stored in a plastic bottle.

Water bought, water wasted

Another fact often missed when discussing the issues surrounding bottled water is that it actually wastes water during production. It requires (and wastes) water to make the bottle itself. It is estimated that for every single-use water bottle you buy, it took 1.4 gallons of water to make. As the world is facing a water crisis, it makes no sense to waste this precious resource as a way to sell the very resource that is being wasted.

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