Monday, April 25, 2016

Earth Day and the story of bottled water

We've just celebrated our Earth Day on 22nd April. This event has once again brought some world attention to the story of bottled water, with a video produced back in 2010.

Here is the video, which has been viewed over 4.7 millions time in YouTube:

So, what's wrong with the bottled water? It is a multi-billion business, sold 290 billion liters in 2014 and expected to continue growing at a CAGR of around 8.5% between 2015 and 2020.

Well, we are told that about half of the bottled water is sourced from tap water, and priced a few hundreds time the price of tap water. It is expensive, sometimes even more expensive than petrol.

Another half is sourced from underground or spring water. What will be the impact to the environment when millions of gallons of water is extracted away 24x7 everyday? Will it change the soil moisture, deplete the wetlands and narrow out the rivers? Will it in turn affect the surrounding ecology, and the aquaculture and agriculture condition?

Anyhow, the main issue is more on the plastic bottle itself than the water contained in it. In order to manufacture the plastic bottle, millions barrels of fossil fuel is consumed, and another millions tonnes of carbon dioxide is generated.

Each year, more than 4 billion pounds of PET plastic bottles end up in landfills or as roadside litter, or worse still, floating in the sea endangering the birds, fishes and other ocean animals. Only less than 20% of plastic the water bottles are actually recycled.
In the United States of America, selling of bottled water is banned in more and more schools and colleges, and even parks.

Therefore, to save our earth and its environment, we should only drink bottled water when necessary, and not to substitute our daily drinking water with it. We should resume our traditional way of drinking filtered or boiled tap water, and use reusable water container to carry some water with us for outdoor drinking.


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