Disclosure. I make my living manufacturing a selling bicycle style water bottles. They are reusable and can commonly be used daily for five years or longer. One of our biggest competitors is the bottled water business. For a very long time I have wondered why the main stream media has given bottle water a pass. It uses massive amounts of oil and creates huge amounts of trash. And all for very little convenience.
The cost of bottled water is generally more than the cost of gasoline, and yet the same amount of water from your home tap is close to free. Even if you filter the water or have it go throuugh a reverse osmosis machine, it is still almost free.
Mike Williams, who still has my favorite blogpoints to an articlethat speaks directly to these issues.
The study said that demand for bottled water soared in developing countries between 1999 and 2004 with consumption tripling in India and more than doubling in China during that period.
That has translated into massive costs in packaging the water, usually in plastic bottles made of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) which is derived from crude oil, and then transporting it by boat, train or on land.
"Making bottles to meet Americans' demand for bottled water requires more than 1.5 million barrels of oil annually, enough to fuel some 100,000 US cars for a year," according to the study. "Worldwide, some 2.7 million tons of plastic are used to bottle water each year."
Once the water is consumed, disposing the plastic bottles poses an environmental risk.
The study, citing the Container Recycling Institute, said that 86 percent of plastic water bottles in the United States end up as garbage and those buried can take up to 1,000 years to biodegrade.
The really ironic thing about all this is that the very folks who drink the most bottled water are commonly those who are claiming to be the most eco friendly. The very same material that they read and folks they listen to with regard to ecological issues, are usually quite concerned about tap water. But as the article goes on to say, this is bogus at best:
It said that while consumers tend to link bottled water with healthy living, tap water can be just as healthy and is subject to more stringent regulations than bottled water in many regions, including Europe and the United States.
"In fact, roughly 40 percent of bottled water begins as tap water," the study says. "Often the only difference is added minerals that have no marked health benefits.
So, you can help the economy (lower oil consumption), help the environment (lower trash accumulation), and help me all at the same time. Stop using disposable water bottles and start using California Springs Bicycle Style Water Bottles.