Bottled Water is Wasteful!
The environmental cost of the massive consumption of bottled water has led some U.S. and Canadian local governments to consider a ban its sale. While this seems an extreme response, the scientific concerns are well-founded, and the facts may surprise you.
Fact #1. Bottles used to package water take over 1,000 years to bio-degrade and if incinerated, they produce toxic fumes. It is estimated that over 80% of all single-use water bottles used in the U.S. simply become “litter.” Source: ValleyWater.org
Fact #2. Recycling is only feasible in limited circumstances because only PET bottles can be recycled. All other bottles are discarded. Only 1 out of 5 bottles are sent to the recycle bin. Source: SunTimes
Fact #3. U.S. landfills are overflowing with 2 million tons of discarded water bottles alone. Source:
Fact #4. It takes over 1.5 million barrels of oil to meet the demand of U.S. water bottle manufacturing. This amount of oil far exceeds the amount needed to power 100,000 for a year, which does not include fossil fuel and emissions costs of green house gases needed to transport the final product to market. Source: SunTimes
Fact #5. It is estimated that actually 3 liters of water is used to package 1 liter of bottled water. Source: ValleyWater.org
“In summary, the manufacture and transport of that
one kilogram bottle of Fiji [brand] water consumed…”
- 26.88 kilograms of water (7.1 gallons)
- .849 Kilograms of fossil fuel (one litre or .26 gal) and
- Emitted 562 grams of Greenhouse Gases (1.2 pounds).
Bottled Water and Climate Change
Dr. Michael Warhurst, Friends of the Earth’s senior waste campaigner, said:
“It is another product we do not need. Bottled water companies are wasting resources and exacerbating climate change. Transport is the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions, and transporting water adds to that. We could help reduce these damaging effects if we all simply drank water straight from the tap.”
Bottled Water and Manufacturing Cost
“In the United States, bottled water costs between $0.25 and $2 per bottle while tap water costs less than a penny. According to, about 90% of manufacturer’s costs is from making the bottle, label, and cap.”
Environmental criticisms of bottled water at Wiki
Bottled Water and Long-Term Environmental Issues
Key environmental issues with bottled water, [says environmentalist David Suzuki] are waste and uncertainty over the long-term health effects created by plastic.