Cut the plastic waste - say no to bottled water

Cut the plastic waste - say no to bottled water

December 20, 2010
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It is everywhere - in the gym, on the air plane, on sale at every corner store and handed out on field trips. Bottled water has become an everyday item.

What would you rather drink: a fancy bottle of water with a pretty picture of mountains and a stream on it, or a glass poured from the tap?

Many people only drink bottled water, and some restaurants refuse to serve tap water. Some people think tap water is unsafe, or that it tastes funny.

Around the world people spend billions of dollars on bottled water. But it is no healthier and it produces a huge amount of rubbish.

A third of all bottled water sold in the US is just plain old filtered tap water. In fact, when researchers tested bottled water in the US, they found that in many cases it contained more bacteria than tap water.

Bottled water is also about 1,000 times more expensive. Meanwhile, public water systems in many cities are poorly built and maintained due to a lack of funding. Governments spend millions of dollars collecting and disposing of our empty bottles, but one billion people around the world do not have clean drinking water. Maybe if we produced less waste we would have more money to provide clean tap water for everyone.

National Geographic estimates that more than 85 million plastic bottles are used every three minutes. Those plastic bottles are made with petroleum, the same stuff that goes into cars. In the US, making plastic water bottles consumes the same amount of oil as one million cars use in a year.

When you buy a bottle of water you use the bottle for a very short time. Once they're empty you throw them away. Most end up in the rubbish, and only a small portion are recycled. Hong Kong's water is clean and safe to drink. If you don't like the taste, there are many affordable filtration systems that will make it taste better. Or drop a slice of lemon in your glass of water and it will taste great.

Use bottles that can be recycled and fill them with tap water. You'll save money and cut the amount of plastic waste.



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