Our anxiety about climate change ramps up daily as we continue to witness record-breaking natural disasters. Just this year we have seen the havoc caused by Hurricane Michael, the Indonesian Hurricane and tsunamis. And there have been ongoing forest fires in California and BC, Canada. We stand by feeling helpless as scientists and politicians struggle to find the best course of action. However, there are small steps each one of us can take to help our environment. And that involves looking at our use of plastic water bottles.
The hazard of plastic water bottles
One simple thing that everyone can do is to stop drinking bottled water. Plastic water bottles are major polluters on their own but more on that later. Do you know what it takes to make a bottle of water? Here are a few facts:
- It takes three times the amount of water in a bottle of water to make it as it does to fill it.
- Plastic water bottles are made from a petroleum product called polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which requires giant amounts of fossil fuelsto make and transport.
- The production of bottled water uses 17 million barrels of oil a year. That’s slightly more than it would take to fill one millions cars a year with fuel.
- It takes almost 2,000 timesthe energy to manufacture a bottle of water than it does to produce tap water.
- If you fill a plastic water bottle so it is about 25% full, that’s about how much oil it took to make the bottle.
- The energy we waste using bottled water would be enough to power 190,000 homes
After we drink bottled water
And what happens to that water bottle after we drink it? Eighty per cent of plastic water bottles that we use end up in landfill. Landfills around the world are bursting at the seams with thousands of tons of plastic water bottles. It takes up to 1,000 years for a plastic water bottle to decompose. Each bottle leaks harmful chemicals into our environment along the way as it decomposes. Studies show that these toxins leach into our environment causing a variety of health issues including reproductive problems and cancer.
How bad is the problem?
A million plastic bottles are bought around the world every minute and the number will jump another 20% by 2021. Fewer than half of the bottles bought in 2016 ended up in recycling and just 7% of those were turned into new bottles. Instead most plastic bottles produced end up in landfill or in the ocean. There has been growing concern about the impact of plastics pollution in oceans around the world. Recently scientists found nearly 18 tons of plastic on one of the world’s most remote islands, an uninhabited coral atoll in the South Pacific.
Bottled water myths
Most of us drink bottled water because we think it’s purer than tap water. Clever advertising has fooled us into believing that drinking bottled water is healthier and better for us than tap water. Nothing could be further from the truth. In 1999, after a four-year review of the bottled-water industry and its safety standards, studies concluded that there is no assurance that bottled water is cleaner or safer than tap. In fact, an estimated 25 percent or more of bottled water is really just tap water in a bottle—sometimes further treated, sometimes not.
There are also other dangers in bottled water not found in tap water. Chemicals called phthalates, which are known to disrupt testosterone and other hormones, can leach into bottled water over time. One study found water stored for 10 weeks in plastic and in glass bottles contained phthalates. This suggested that the chemicals could be coming from the plastic cap or liner.
What’s the solution?
Some bottled water manufactures even claim that we will be smarter for drinking it but given all of these facts you have to see the irony of that statement. Drinking clean, filtered tap water is a much safer and more economical solution that leaves a low carbon footprint.
A filtration system like the UltraStream delivers cleaner water than any commercially produced bottled water. It uses no electronics, is easy to install and filters out pesticides, choramines and chlorine, heavy metals and fluoride. At the same time it infuses the water with molecular hydrogen and adds a sea of essential minerals to every glass. Use a glass or stainless steel water bottle to drink purified water on the go and never be caught short again.
Spread the word
Don’t be afraid to spread the word! Tell your friends and family about alternatives to drinking bottled water and encourage your workplace to ban the sale of plastic water bottles. Educate your children about the positive impact they can have on the environment when they use stainless steel water bottles. Buy a water filtration system as a Christmas gift. Check out our many water filtration systems to fit every budget at www.waterionizer.org or give us a call at: 1-877-770-5247