One of the major parts of our waste reduction journey has been the transition to drinking more water and reducing our use of plastic bottles. It’s the most sustainable, the least resource intense, healthiest option, and it’s economical. I’ve never been one to seek out bottled drinks of any sort but after doing some more research I learned a lot about the impacts of plastic bottles.
5 crazy facts on plastic bottles:
It takes 3 times as much water to make a plastic water bottle than is actually contained in that water bottle. The figure is MUCH worse for other bottled drinks.
For example, it takes 400 times as much water to make a single bottle of soda than the amount of soda in that bottle. This is because the production of these beverages requires significant amounts of water for growing ingredients, manufacturing, and packaging. As such, the water footprint of bottled drinks is much larger than what meets the eye, and it’s important to consider this when making choices about what to consume.
Only ~9% of all plastic was recycled in the US in 2018. While recycling is always a great option, reducing and reusing are more sustainable.
Reducing the overall consumption of single-use plastics and reusing items whenever possible can have a much larger impact on reducing plastic waste than just relying on recycling. It’s important for individuals and businesses to focus on finding alternative solutions to plastic use, such as using reusable containers and bags, and supporting products and companies that prioritize sustainability. By making conscious choices to reduce and reuse, we can all work towards a more sustainable future.
Over 60% of bottled water is actually just tap water that has been filtered and treated.
In fact, according to the National Resources Defense Council, some popular bottled water brands are essentially just re-packaged municipal tap water. This can be concerning for consumers who may be under the impression that bottled water is somehow purer or safer than tap water, when in reality they are often one and the same.
This revelation has led to increased scrutiny of the bottled water industry and has prompted many people to question the necessity and environmental impact of purchasing bottled water when tap water is readily available.
Drinking bottled water can cost you 1000x (!!!) what drinking from your home tap would. In some cases, depending on the cost of the bottled water and the quality of tap water, the cost can be even higher. Tap water is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and is generally much cheaper and just as safe to drink. It’s important to consider the environmental impact of buying and disposing of plastic water bottles as well.
Each year, it is estimated that the production of water bottles (including the manufacturing process and transportation) consumes about 17 million barrels of oil. This massive amount of oil could be used to power approximately 1 million vehicles for an entire year.
This is a significant environmental impact, considering the large amount of non-renewable resources used to produce single-use plastic water bottles. It highlights the importance of reducing plastic consumption and finding more sustainable alternatives for packaging and water storage.
There are just so many mind blowing statistics here I could go on for a while but I hope my point is clear, using bottled water every day just does not make sense.
We’ve been using reusable insulated bottles/mug for a while now and love the convenience. Fill it with water pretty much any where you want. Fill it with water and chill it in the fridge over night to grab quickly on your way out the door. Have your local coffee shop use your container to save from using a to go coffee cup – most of which can’t be recycled. They’re also easily cleaned and last forever. They are such a great investment.
What can you do to reduce your plastic waste?
The easiest thing to do to reduce your plastic waste from water bottles is to use sustainable, reusable bottles instead.
Here are my favorites, in no particular order. I chose these brands because of their quality products and stated missions to help the environment and reduce our dependence on plastic.
We may get commissions from the links below. Thank you for supporting us and our mission!
S’well bottles, as with all of the mentioned brands, come in a variety of shapes and sizes. This particular option is a great multitasker for water, coffee or tea. S’well’s mission is to reduce waste through the million bottle project. “By [the end of] 2020, their aim is to eliminate 100 million single-use plastic bottles from being consumed.”