The Earth Policy Institute has a bunch of reasons why we should avoid bottled water. I know they're American numbers but they still apply to us Canadians:
- Although in the industrial world bottled water is often no healthier than tap water, it can cost up to 10,000 times more. At as much as $2.50 per liter ($10 per gallon), bottled water costs more than gasoline.
- In contrast to tap water, which is distributed through an energy-efficient infrastructure, transporting bottled water long distances involves burning massive quantities of fossil fuels. Nearly a quarter of all bottled water crosses national borders to reach consumers, transported by boat, train, and truck.
- 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 U.S. cars for a year. Worldwide, some 2.7 million tons of plastic are used to bottle water each year.
- According to the Container Recycling Institute, 86 percent of plastic water bottles used in the United States become garbage or litter. Incinerating used bottles produces toxic byproducts such as chlorine gas and ash containing heavy metals. Buried water bottles can take up to 1,000 years to biodegrade.
- The rapid growth in this industry means that water extraction is concentrated in communities where bottling plants are located. Farmers, fishers, and others who depend on water for their livelihoods suffer from the concentrated water extraction when water tables drop quickly.
- Tap water is more strictly regulated for health standards than bottled water.
What can we do? Write letters to our politicians, grocery stores and convenience stores. Ask your local convenience store to stop selling bottled water. Get your workplace to stop selling bottled water!
Instead of buying a waterbottle, make one from something you already have, like a glass jar (thanks for the idea, Colin!)
Convince your family and friends to stop drinking bottled water.
Forward this post to friends and family, blog about your pledge to stop drinking bottled water, and STOP DRINKING BOTTLED WATER!