Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Bottled waste

Most of us don’t think twice about grabbing a bottle of water for a walk or workout. But we ought to think about it a lot more than twice.

The statistics of waste and extravagance are staggering, says the Earth Policy Institute:

  • To package and ship the seven-billion gallons of bottled water we drink annually requires 1.5-million barrels of oil – enough to supply 100,000 cars for a year.
  • Nearly 90% of the bottles wind up in landfills, where they take a thousand years to biodegrade.
  • Bottled water costs 10,000 times what tap water does, and the difference in taste and content is usually barely detectable.
  • When billions of people around the world lack safe drinking water, we are buying bottled water at per-gallon prices that exceed what we are paying for gasoline!

Most of us drink bottled water in a quest for purity. But the cost of that assumed purity is both pollution and waste.