The Bottle Water Crisis
The Bottled Water Crisis The convenience of bottled water has turned into a massive problem for our planet’s ecosystems. Plastic water bottles are overflowing landfills, polluting our water sources, and ultimately altering the environment in which we live. One in five Americans drink bottled water even though bottled water is thousands of times more expensive than tap water! (All About Water) The booming business of bottled water has led to significant, damaging effects on our environment and communities, thus resulting in dangerous misconceptions regarding water quality and accessibility.
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In recent years, the bottled water market has significantly increased in sales and consumption. More than seventy-five percent of the American population purchases and consumes bottled water. In the United States the bottled water market has tripled in the last ten years, with the average person now consuming twenty-eight gallons of bottled water per year. Interestingly enough, nearly half of all bottled water sold in the United States is tap water, which companies put in plastic bottles and sell at huge profits. The worldwide market for bottled water is estimated to be worth ore than one hundred billion dollars. Goldschein) Given the opportunity of grossing enormous revenues, it is no wonder that our capitalistic society embraces a practice that is so senseless and damaging to the environment. The environmental impacts of the bottled water industry are the most concerning aspect of the lesson to be learned regarding the bottled water crisis. Bottlers have been known to obtain water in large volumes from springs and aquifers, which can dry up wells, depleting wetlands and draining rivers. Producing bottled water is a roduct that we don’t need.
Unfortunately, three liters of water are used in the packing of a single bottle of water. (Bottled Water is Wasteful) Bottled water companies are wasting resources and exacerbating climate change. It takes over one and a half million barrels of oil to meet the demand of U. S. water bottle manufacturing. This amount of oil far exceeds the amount needed to supply power for one hundred thousand individuals annually. (Bottled Water is Wasteful) It is also important to note that these fgures do not include the fossil fuel and emission costs f green house gases needed to transport the final product to market.
In addition to the unnecessary consumption of resources, plastic water bottles end up littering the landscape, while leaching toxic chemicals into the water supply. The bottles used to package water will take over one thousand years to bio-degrade. (Bottled Water is Wasteful) If incinerated, plastic bottles produce toxic fumes! Officials estimate that over eighty percent of all single-use water bottles used in the United States simply become “litter”. (Bottled Water is Wasteful) Recycling is only feasible in limited ircumstances because only PET bottles can be recycled.
All other bottles are discarded into landfills. Surprisingly enough, only one out of five discarded water bottles are sent to the recycling bin, resulting in U. S. landfills overflowing with four Bottled water Is wasteTul) In addition to the environmental impacts previously stated, bottled water production has significant social implications for communities. Not only does bottled water contribute to a global lack of drinking water, it also causes local inaccessibility to water. Over one billion people across the globe lack access to clean, safe, and affordable drinking water.
Experts have predicted by 2025, two-thirds of the world’s population will lack access to potable water. (All About Water) When bottling corporations privatize water, they limit access to an essential resource that many believe should always be public. A common misconception exists in which bottled water is believed to be safer than tap water. Forty percent of bottled water comes from previously treated municipal water systems. (Beyond the Bottle) Essentially, half f the bottled water that individuals consume has already been paid for by the tax payer.
Water bottlers then sell this water back to the public at thousands of times the price. (Beyond the Bottle) If the public and future generations increasingly believe that the only place to get clean, safe drinking water is from a bottle, there will be a decrease in political support to fund our public water municipalities. Bottled water is rarely as closely monitored as tap water. Tap water in the United States, when provided by a municipal system, is the most highly monitored and safe supply in the orld.
When an individual is choosing between tap water and bottled water, tap water is clearly the more economical and healthier choice. Here are the top three reasons to think outside the bottle: drinking tap water is good for the environment, it’s good for municipal budgets, and it’s good for municipal water systems. At this point in time, there is simply no better choice for purity and economy than filtered tap water. Unfortunately, the trend of buying bottled water is rapidly growing as millions of health-conscious Americans are consuming more and ore bottled water while enjoying its convenience.
Works Cited All About Water home page. 28 Mar. 2013 . Beyond The Bottle home page. 28 Mar. 2013 . “Bottled Water is Wasteful. ” The Water Project home page. 28 Mar. 2013 . Goldschein, Eric. “1 5 Outrageous Facts About The Bottled Water Industry’. Business Insider. 27 Oct. 2011 .