Water's Edge - Buzz

What's the BUZZ about Water Bottles?


It’s understandable that the easiest thing to grab when drinking water is a plastic bottle. Most families get their drinking water from one source—bottled water. Cheap? Not quite. Healthy? Nope! Easy on the environment? Not on your life. Convenient? Okay, we’ll give you that. Here are some facts that may make you think twice the next time you purchase a case of bottled water, just remember there are alternatives.

• Disposable plastic water bottles are not meant for multiple uses, but in an effort to be conscience to the environment many of us use them multiple times. The #1 polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is fine for a single use, but reuse almost always leads to bacterial growth and leaching of dangerous chemicals.
• Through just the process of making of bottles to meet just the state of New York’s demands for bottled water, more than 17 million barrels of oil annually is required, enough to fuel some 120,000 cars for a year. To put it another way, the entire energy costs of the lifecycle of a bottle of water is equivalent, on average, to filling up a quarter of each bottle with oil. (Pacific Institute)
• Bottled water is expensive! Drinking the recommended daily amount of water using bottled water can cost an average of $1,400 per year; drinking the same amount from the tap costs around 49 cents for the year. (NY Times)
• 28% of PET plastic bottles that got recycled in 2009.
• 90% of the cost of bottled water is due to the bottle itself
• 38 million plastic bottles go to the dump per year in America from bottled water (not including soda)
• Bottling and shipping water is the least energy efficient method ever used to supply water

The plastic itself in bottled water is also dangerous, and a few companies are doing some due diligence to change the way they make their plastic bottles by adding plant additives instead of oil. Unfortunately, those plastic bottles have not become less dangerous to the consumer. Plastic—plant-based or otherwise—harms human health. "Some bioplastics formulations use the same types of additives as petroleum or natural gas-based plastics," acknowledges Melissa Hockstad, a vice president at SPI. The dangers of chemical additives normally used in plastic (BHT) as well as the chemical compounds released by plastics, (acetaldehyde) have been scrutinized for their apparent link to various types of cancer. In other words, plant plastics are not necessarily free of harmful chemicals. That said, there's some real progress amid the plant-plastic hype; the new bottles reduce the use of fossil fuels and improve recyclability, and at Water’s Edge we are grateful for that.

Are you getting tired of the cost of bottled water? Click here to find out how much is it really costing you…and the earth?

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