Ditch the plastic water bottle.
For the grand finale of #plasticfreejuly we’re going out with a bang! Today’s #DailyRevolution is to ditch the plastic bottle… for good.
We know that using a plastic bottle is harmful to the environment, but we still buy one in a pinch. Who hasn’t been in 100 degree weather without a fountain in sight? The problem is we rely on the option too much, and give into the convenience of it. Well, let’s get real, and talk some hard truth.
One million plastic bottles are purchased EVERY MINUTE around the world... one million! Sadly, that number is only expected to increase (potentially by 20% by 2021). Americans last year alone consumed about 50 billion plastic water bottles resulting in 38 billion water bottles ($1B worth of plastic) wasted and unrecycled. The plastic used for these bottles is made from polyethylene terephthalate (Pet), which takes 400-450 years to naturally decompose. It is highly recyclable, but companies fear that consumers will not buy foggy recycled bottles. The amount of plastic bottles consumed is only increasing so this problem is not going away in the next 400-500 years.
As consumers we’re also getting screwed. 90% of the cost of a bottle of water goes to packaging, transportation and marketing -- it’s not for the water. In fact, about 40% or more of the water is actually just tap water. Bottled water can cost up to 10,000 times as much per gallon as tap water! Especially in places like New York where the tap water is delicious, it is completely unnecessary to buy bottled tap water.
Furthermore, producing a bottle of water uses a lot of energy in and of itself. It takes 47 million gallons of oil to create plastic water bottles each year. It also takes water to make water, apparently. It can take up to 3 liters of water to make a half-liter bottle. That’s 6-7 times worth of what’s inside the bottle.
90% of the trash in the ocean is plastic. You may have seen those gruesome viral pictures of fish and birds filled with garbage which is alarming enough; but what we don’t realize is that this is going into our food. Just think, that sushi special you had for lunch may have included a free side of plastic chemicals. The truth is the plastic and garbage fish consume stays with them, and thus with us.
Seem like a difficult subject? Unfortunately, the truth is we’ve only scratched the surface on the many issues regarding plastic bottle use. There are many more problems that come with purchasing a bottle.
Today, let’s say goodbye to plastic water bottles, for good! Check out NY water fountain and refill stations or portable water fountains available this summer. Also, try Reefill which has an app that makes it easy to find a station, while tracking the amount of plastic & money saved! Not in New York? Lookout for Reefill as it expands across the country. And in the meantime you can try googling water stations near you for a list in your state.