We all know that we are supposed to drink eight glasses of water a day, and most of us prefer bottled water over tap. A typical glass of water contains eight ounces, so ideally we should each consume 64 ounces per day which is equivalent to four bottles of water.
In 2007 only about 14% of water bottles were recycled. If every person in the United States had received their daily recommended amount of water from bottles that year, over a billion water bottles would have been tossed in the trash per day.
Recycling is a great, simple solution to the high number of bottles in landfills. Recycling a ton of plastic water bottles saves about 3.8 barrels of petroleum that would otherwise be needed to manufacture the plastic. It would also save the energy equivalent of over 300 gallons of gas.
Recycling plastics and other solid waste saves enough emissions to equate taking 33 million cars off of our highways. When a single bottle is recycled, the energy saved would be enough to power a 60-watt light bulb for six hours.
The best solution to the threat water bottles pose to the environment is to reduce the use of plastic water bottles altogether. There are some great reusable options on the market right now that are cost effective and safe for both the environment and our health.
Polycarbonate bottles are durable yet lightweight plastic bottles. It has been shown that some polycarbonate compounds can leach a synthetic hormone, bisphenol-A (BPA), so be should to check that your bottles is BPA-free.
Aluminum bottles are also very durable and keep beverages cooler for longer periods of time. Stainless steel bottles are nearly indestructible and have no risks of leaching.
Filtering water bottles are becoming very popular. These are typically plastic and have filters built-in so you can fill it up anywhere and know that the water you’re ingesting has been purified.
Bottled water is packaged in polyethylene terephthalate plastic, which emits harmful toxins such into our air and water during production. A single water bottle in a landfill can take as long as 1,000 years to biodegrade, meaning that all the plastic of every water bottle ever produced is still in the environment. In 2006, it took 17 million barrels of oil to produce water bottles that year; that amount of oil is enough to power over a million cars for a year.