Written by Frankie Sparacio, ESLLC 2016-2017
We are all aware of the fact that plastic water bottles are notoriously bad for the planet. They pollute our oceans, emit greenhouse gasses through production, and some even contain chemicals that are harmful to humans. As a society, we view plastic water bottles as a convenience, a view that has become a poison for our planet. For most Americans, switching to a lifestyle that doesn’t include plastic water bottles should be fairly easy.
Unlike most parts of the world, most Americans have access to clean drinking water, but we are somehow the world’s largest consumer of bottled water. Americans, on average, use about 50 billion water bottles every year and only 23% of those bottles are recycled, that means 38 billion plastic water bottles are thrown into landfills or just become pollution. Besides landfills, these bottles also make their way into oceans all around the world, harming marine life and wash up on beach shores. Something that a lot of Americans don’t know about is that plastic water bottles need oil to be produced. In the United States, 1.5 million barrels of oil are used annually in the production of plastic water bottles. If that oil wasn’t used for plastic bottle production, it could fuel 100,000 cars for an entire year. In order for these bottles to be transported throughout the country, and world, cars, planes, and trains are needed. This means that even more fossil fuels are used, resulting in more air pollution and the release of global warming emissions.
One of the main reasons American’s opt for bottled water is because they think bottled water is cleaner than tap water. However, that is not true. Much of the plastic bottles are filled with filtered tap water from a city nearby. Also, the U.S. public water system is regulated by the EPA, which required numerous daily tests for bacteria and other toxins. The bottled water Americans pick up at convenient stores are regulated by the FDA, which requires only weekly testing. Also, plastic bottles contain a chemical known as BPA, which has been connected to cases of hormonal issues and even cancer. If all of these reasons won’t convince Americans to ditch plastic water bottles, this one will: Americans can save $260 per year by switching to a reusable water bottle. An average American spends about $5 a week on plastic water bottles. Investing in a reusable water bottle is one of the easiest ways to make this Earth a healthier place for everybody!
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Speer, Anh. “Reusable Water Bottles Help You Go Green and Stay Healthy.” Sustainable Earth | Going Green Tips | Eco-Friendly Living. N.p., 13 July 2013. Web. 09 Jan. 2017.