Drink tap water and reduce the amount of waste plastic bottles
Drinking bottled water is not only problematic for our health, but for the environment we live in as well. Two facts are especially ‘incriminating’ for the bottled water industry. The first one is the energy intensity of all the bottled water’s life cycle phases – extracting, filtering, bottling but especially bottle production, transporting and cooling the bottled water. The second one is the enormous quantity of waste, especially different plastic materials, caused by producing, selling, distributing and using bottled water. We have studied its energy intensity through our carbon footprint project. Aspects of waste generation are considered here.
An average EU citizen consumes 104 litres of bottled water per year. Most of the bottles are made of plastic which theoretically means more than 50 billion 1 litre plastic bottles get sold Europe wide per year. But there’s other packaging and extras used for bottled water transport and storage we shouldn’t forget about – cardboard, plastic wrap, stickers, declarations...
The Compelling Facts About Plastics 2009 report states that in the EU approximately 20% of plastic material gets recycled and 30% is used for energy recovery (meaning burned). This means app. 25 billion 1 litre plastic bottles get landfilled or even worse, thrown away in the natural environment, annually.
Since ¼ litre of oil and 3 litres of water are used to produce one 1 litre PET bottle, more than 6 billion litres of oil and 75 billion litres of water are used for the production of bottles which are eventually thrown away. As a comparison – app. 135 litres of oil is used to produce one tonne of glass, which means only 50ml per Flaska bottle.
*The calculation was made for 2010. The results may have changed since then.