Eco-Friendly Water Bottles...not so friendly?

So we all drink the occasional bottle of water. But let's get real...don't pretend that just because it's curvy, the plastic bottle is green. It's not. It's plastic.

Facts About Plastic Bottles

It’s a hot summer day, and you’re enjoying a nice, cool bottle of water. As you walk through your local park, you reach out and throw your empty bottle into the trash can. So, what are the repercussions of these actions?
  • Americans buy an estimated 29.8 billion plastic water bottles every year.
  • Nearly eight out of every 10 bottles will end up in a landfill.
  • It is estimated that the production of plastics accounts for 4 percent of the energy consumption in the U.S.
  • Less than 1 percent of all plastics is recycled. Therefore, almost all plastics are incinerated or end up in a landfill.
  • Recycling a single plastic bottle can conserve enough energy to light a 60-watt light bulb for up to six hours.
  • Recycled plastic bottles can be made into products such as clothing, carpeting, detergent bottles and lumber for outdoor decking.
  • More than 80 percent of U.S. households have access to a plastics recycling program through curbside or community drop-off centers.
  • Producing new plastic products from recycled materials uses two-thirds less energy than required to make products from raw (virgin) materials. It also reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

SACRAMENTO, CA – According to the report, more than 1 billion water bottles are winding up in the trash in California each year. That translates into nearly 3 million empty water bottles going to the trash EVERY day and an estimated $26 million in unclaimed California Refund Value (CRV) deposits annually. If recycled, the raw materials from those bottles could be used to make 74 million square feet of carpet, 74 million extra large T-shirts or 16 million sweaters, among other things.
Instead, they are swallowing landfill space, increasing air pollution and destroying the ozone layer.
"What people don’t realize is that these water bottles are recyclable and have detrimental environmental impacts if thrown in the trash”
With their popularity increasing and summer right around the corner, single serve water bottles are poised to cause even greater environmental concerns if recycling rates go unchanged. Only 16 percent of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) water bottles sold in California are being recycled. At that rate, the amount of water bottles thrown in the trash ten years from now would be enough to create a two lane, six-inch deep highway that stretches the entire coast of California.
The bottles also present significant air pollution concerns as many are incinerated with regular trash. Anyone who has seen a plastic bottle melt knows of the toxic smoke and fumes it can create. These fumes not only pose health risks, they create “green house gases” that attack the ozone layer.
“What’s most discouraging is that these empty water bottles can be recycled and used for so many things,” continues Young. “Recycled PET water bottles can be used as raw material to make products like sweaters, carpet, t-shirts, and even products for the home.

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Plastic Water Bottles: Really Bad for the Environment

Most folks drink their bottled water on the go and there is no convenient way to recycle the plastic bottles. In 2003, about 40 million bottles a day went into the trash, or even more unfortunately became litter. These billions of bottles take up valuable landfill space, leak toxic additives into the groundwater and take a whopping 1,000 years to biodegrade, if ever.

The high price of bottled water is not the water but, in actuality, the cost of the bottling, packaging, shipping, marketing, retailing and transporting it all over the globe. When calculating your carbon footprint, you might want to consider the carbon footprint of the bottled water you drink. Next time you pick up a bottle of Fiji Water, think about the distance the bottle and the water have traveled before it hits your lips.
It is true that tap water is more regulated than bottled water, so you should drink from the tap. Want to read about some alternatives to drinking plastic bottled water? then read more
  • Filter your tap water with a Brita Water Filter, especially if lead and mercury are your major concerns.
  • Pour your filtered tap water into a metal SIGG bottle. They are lightweight, durable and dishwasher safe. I love mine!!!
  • Buy Biota bottled water. The bottle is made from 100% corn (a renewable resources) and it decomposes in a commercial composting situation in 70 - 80 days. It will take longer to break down in a home composting pile, but it breaks down!!!
  • If you do happen to buy a plastic bottle, just remember to recycle it!!!

eco friendly, yeah right!
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