It is hard to argue the fact that waste management has recently become a huge problem in the world, with landfills growing to enormous sizes and recycling rates remaining dismally low even in modern Western nations. The number of plastic bottles produced by the bottled water industry and subsequently discarded by consumers has only exacerbated this immense problem. This issue has only made it more ethical and responsible to use tap water as a healthy drinking source, as well as installing a water filtration system within the home for the reassurance of pure drinking water not sourced from a plastic bottle. Through using tap water instead of bottled water which has been described as unnecessary, an individual’s environmental footprint can be reduced significantly.
According to a 2001 report of the World Wide Fund for Nature roughly 1.5 million tons of plastic are expended in the bottling of 89 billion litres of water each year. Besides this sheer amount of plastic produced, the energy required to manufacture and transport these bottles to market severely drains limited fossil fuels. Bottled water companies, due to their unregulated use of valuable resources and their production of billions of plastic bottles have presented a significant strain on the environment.
The authors of the WWF report suggested that water bottles be washed and reused in order to lessen their negative impact on the environment. Unfortunately, reusing plastic bottles further compromises the quality of the water, due to the fact that more and more phthalate leaches its way into the water as the bottle gets older. In another suggestion, the authors recommended that bottled water companies use local bottling facilities in order to lessen fuel expenditures for transportation needs. Regrettably, local bottling further compromises water quality due to the reduced health standards for in-state bottled water production and consumption. It seems there is no feasible solution to this problem. The bottled water industry causes a severe strain on the environment, but solutions to this environmental damage significantly lessen the quality of water in the bottles.
According to campaigners, bottled water is is a product that is entirely unnecessary for anyone with access to potable tap water, especially those with access to a water filtration system. There are, says Lucy Lee, of UK- based wildlife charity WWF, many organisations working to change attitudes towards bottled water and enforce the fact that there is “a legitimate role for bottled water in society, especially in emergency situations or where tap water is non-existent or poor but tap water supplies and should be the exception rather than the rule”.
If you want to contribute to a cleaner world, check our water filtration systems and help cleaning the environment from plastic water bottles!