Everywhere you look, you can see people carrying plastic water bottles. They have become a staple of our lives, but unfortunately they are not safe for humans or the environment. The US consumes 30 million bottles a year, out of 50 million worldwide. That equals 60% of bottled water by only 4.5% of the world population. Another scary fact is 1500 bottles are consumed every second.
First off, bottled water is not tested or treated like the water that comes out of our faucet. So you don’t know what you are drinking, and it could make you sick. Secondly, the process to make the plastic bottles is wasting water. It takes 3 times the water inside one bottle to make one plastic bottle, and that water is contaminated with chemicals and is no longer usable. Most people don’t realize that plastic bottles are made with petroleum, and it takes 17 million barrels every year to produce them. Add to that the transportation and refrigeration of bottled water increases the yearly oil consumption to 50 million barrels. It takes 40,000 18-wheelers to just deliver bottled water to your store.
And lastly, our environment is being destroyed by plastic bottles that are not discarded of properly. Water bottles are made of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic, but they don’t biodegrade. They just break down into smaller pieces over time, but those pieces absorb toxins that continue to make animals sick, pollute our water, and contaminate the soil our food is grown in. These plastic bottles contain BPA which is known to poison people. The damage to the animals is dangerous. Whales eat those bottles, thinking they are food. 10% of plastic made ends up in the ocean, where it will never break down or degrade.
We need to implement more recycling programs, starting with the kids. When they learn at an early age to recycle, it becomes 2nd nature and they will continue to do so as adults.