The Waste of Bottled Water in America
February 25, 2006
Global consumption of bottled water increased by more than 57 percent to 41 billion gallons in 2004.
America drank the most bottled water total, consuming nearly 7 billion gallons, which amounts to one 8-ounce glass of bottled water for each American every day. Italians led the pack in bottled water consumption per person, drinking roughly twice as much apiece, on average.
100,000 Cars for a Year
The rise in demand for bottled water is leading to an increase in associated energy use.
Bottled water costs more fossil fuels to transport than tap water, and it also takes 1.5 million barrels of oil each year to create enough polyethylene terephthalate plastic to make the bottles. That amount of oil could fuel about 100,000 cars for a year.
A Millennium to Degrade
In addition, 86 percent of plastic water bottles used in the United States become garbage or litter. These bottles can take up to 1,000 years to finally biodegrade.
In some places, water extraction for bottled water has caused water shortages. This problem has occurred in over 50 villages in India, and also in Texas and the Great Lakes region.