But water activists say the IBWA study highlights a problem throughout the beverage industry: Few companies take the whole water-use picture into account when calculating their water use. There is also plastic’s large carbon footprint. That averages out to around $6,180 for five years. The amount of water to make the bottle could be up to six or seven times what's inside the bottle, according to the Water Footprint Network. Although the issues might be hidden from consumers’ view because they are a town or continent away, the risk remains for producers, their supply chains and all those who rely on impacted watersheds. The pollution from plastic water bottles has reached epidemic proportions. ; 1 million plastic bottles are purchased in the US every minute according to Earth Day organizers. Glass Bottle (24 Count) According to the plastic waste study referenced above, from 2002 to 2014 approximately 3.83 billion MT of PET plastic resin was produced worldwide — this is equivalent to 29,000,000,000,000,000 plastic water bottles. Choose tap water over bottled – it takes about 1.5 gallons of water to manufacture a single plastic bottle (how crazy is that?) (That’s typically the minimum life expectancy of a reusable water bottle.) Adding the grey water footprint caused the water footprint to jump to 28 gallons per pound (235 liters per kilogram). The estimated blue water footprint of the “oil to PET” steps was 2.64 gallons of water per pound (10 liters per kilogram). Based on these numbers, it takes about 1.4 gallons (5.3 liters) of water to produce a typical single-use water or soda bottle. While the companies slurp up loads of water during the soft drink-making process, the finished beverages are sent outside the community and around the region. S.Pellegrino Sparkling Natural Mineral Water, 8.45 fl oz. Get a reusable container , fill it with your own beverage or water from a fountain and reduce the need for more packaging-intensive, single serving sizes. That's less than the global averages of a liter of soda, which requires 2.02 liters of water. Environmental activists have long claimed that bottled water is wasteful. In a 2011 study, researchers affiliated with the Water Footprint Network estimated the blue and grey water footprints of PET by analyzing the steps by which raw material becomes PET plastic resin. Just one of the facilities — the huge ExxonMobil ethylene cracker — is projected to use around 18 million gallons of water per day drawn from the Corpus Christi supply, in conjunction with water from the nearby towns of Portland and Gregory. Just 1 of our filters replaces up to 1,600 plastic water bottles. One of the biggest is the dawning realization that plastic waste is now truly found everywhere — from the guts of birds and the flesh of fish to the noses of turtles. The blue and grey water footprint for all that PET works out to about 91.8 billion m3 (which is like filling 693 billion bathtubs full of water). Similarly, water is consumed in manufacturing most other products. While the companies slurp up loads of water during the soft drink-making process, the finished beverages are sent outside the community and around the region. The bottled water industry has led the way in realizing the cost savings of self-manufacturing bottles. One consumer report reveals U.S. residents buy over a half a billion plastic water bottles weekly. The water footprint of one pound of cotton is 1,320 gallons. 3 liters of water is used to package 1 bottle of water. The average person uses 156 plastic bottles per year. For your perspective, there are communities in the world that don’t have access to this much fresh water for their entire lives. She Says Downcycle. The Water Footprint Network says the bottle itself could require 3 liters of water for production. The International Bottled Water Association, ever sensitive to criticism that it's wasting precious resources, has commissioned its first ever study to figure out how much water goes into producing one liter. A study was performed on 250 bottles of water purchased in 9 different countries at the State University of New York in Fredonia. As consumer products go, plastic has become ubiquitous, and for good reason: it is an extremely useful material that has made life more convenient and in some cases, safer, but plastic has a huge environmental footprint with high costs to its creation. A truck load of plastic drink bottles. By 2016, bottled water industry representatives are anticipating bottled water will overtake carbonated soft drinks and become the number one packaged beverage sold in the U.S.1In 1976, annual consumption of bottled water was 1.6 gallons per capita, a mere blip on beverage sales charts. There are lots of reasons for the growing backlash against plastic food and beverage packaging, including bottled water. “Forgoing bottled water and plastic bags and plastic straws is a basic thing we could all be doing that can dramatically affect how much plastic ends up in the environment,” she says. Steven Depolo/Flickr Governments, companies and consumers alike must take the water issues that come with upstream plastic production as seriously as they take the plastic pollution floating into their rivers and seas. hide caption. This environmental scourge clogs the smallest streams, clings to vegetation in overlooked wetlands and disintegrates into tiny bits as it flows to grand rivers and high seas. With today’s drive for light weighting bottles, many times it is practical and feasible that bottles be manufactured inline direct blow-to-fill or with a “combi” configuration. Hard alcohol, it turns out, is the greediest, guzzling 34.55 liters of water for every liter. This, the bottled water industry says, is evidence that its product isn't so bad. That’s nearly 25 billion plastic water bottles used annually with only 12% of them recycled. A paper by Vorosmarty et al., published in the journal, explains that, while water impacts are most sharply felt and managed at a local level, in an era of international supply chains, local water problems may be impacted by global systems and processes. Because PET is a petroleum product, its water footprint includes the water consumed in the processes of extracting, refining and manufacturing of oil and natural gas, which produces the raw material that becomes PET resin pellets. FACT #3 : Americans purchase about 50 billion water bottles per year, averaging about 13 bottles per month for every person in the U.S.! ; By 2050, there will be more plastic in the oceans than there are fish according to environmental scientists. The truth behind plastic water bottle recyclability He Says Recycle. A paper by Vorosmarty et al., published in the journal Science explains that, while water impacts are most sharply felt and managed at a local level, in an era of international supply chains, local water problems may be impacted by global systems and processes. When people in Los Angeles, Paris and Singapore sip on genuine Fijian water imported thousands of miles from the tropical island, they are also consuming the virtual water it took to produce resin from water-stressed China and bottles from Fiji. For example, it takes 22 gallons of water to make one pound of plastic. and plastic bottles are always made from new plastic material. 15 offers from $23.46. So why should we reach for a reusable bottle instead of plastic? By 1995, bottled water consumption ha… Guest Blog by British Solomon. While the many activities that keep humans alive and advancing — agriculture, manufacturing, power production — require lots of water, plastic production is often, by design, one of the most unsustainable, including the huge amount of water required to produce it. To really understand the big question of whether plastic water bottles are truly recyclable, let’s look at a more in-depth explanation behind the process and statistics about PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) plastic #1 recycling rates. ". Reply. On average, the median UK household purchases 480 plastic bottles in one year, but only 270 of those gets recycled. They can release potentially harmful chemicals into your water. Just as companies are beginning to calculate their carbon footprint, they also need to analyze their water footprints to find opportunities for conservation. Usually, they point to the roughly 50 billion (mostly plastic) bottles we throw away every year. A liter of beer, meanwhile, needs 4 liters of water, wine demands 4.74 liters. Bottled water, once considered a niche product, now accounts for 17.8% of the packaged beverage market. 38 million plastic bottles go to landfill each year in America alone. This becomes even more contentious during times of drought for these already water-scarce areas of India. Plastic water (and soda) bottles do not contain BPA. Hogan says some companies say they don't think they can get any more efficient, but they're trying. Within this context, “water consumed” refers to the water permanently withdrawn from its source, or “water that is no longer available because it has evaporated, been transpired by plants, incorporated into products or crops, consumed by people or livestock, or otherwise removed from the immediate water environment.”. Water scarcity concerns led the Port Industries of Corpus Christi to start planning the development of two desalination plants to meet regional freshwater needs. The top reason most articles cite in avoiding plastic water bottles is that they contain bisphenol A (BPA). With plastic production ever increasing as plastic and oil companies ramp up, polluted waterways might be its most conspicuous and ubiquitous symbol. And its cheaper. In the U.S alone, it takes 1.5 million barrels of oil to meet the demands. The three simple reasons below are how you can ignore the however many reasons online and continue to drink out of plastic water bottles as much as you want. ; 7.7 billion plastic water bottles are used in the UK every 12 months. Plastic Trash is a Serious Problem. But it should come with accompanying concern about how much water it takes to make the plastic itself, especially when production happens in water-stressed areas. In fact, it takes at least twice as much water to produce a plastic water bottle as the amount of water contained in the bottle. Hogan says that one reason why the IBWA didnt look at these issues is that it's hard to know where to stop. The True Price of Plastic. Anticipated to be among the world’s largest plastic plants, these facilities operate in an area that regularly suffers from drought and deluge, both extremes expected to intensify with climate change. Each step in the life cycle of plastic, from the extraction of oil or natural gas at the well pad, through the many steps that result in the resins that become various types of plastic, consumes water. Only about 23% of plastic bottles are recycled within the U.S. Water footprints account for water use along entire supply (or production) chains, which can be messy just to map, let alone assess. China faces serious water scarcity and water pollution problems throughout the country, both of which are caused or exacerbated by manufacturing. Reusable water bottles have gone mainstream, largely thanks to David Attenborough shining a light on the shocking issue of plastic pollution. Geyer et al., estimated that, between 1950 and 2015, a total of 8.3 billion metric tons (MT) of virgin plastic was produced globally. 1. Supply chain disruptions can have severe consequences, even for plastic resin production, as China’s severe response to halt the spread of the novel coronavirus shows. Now there is a way for you, as an individual to make a positive impact on the environment and not contribute plastic waste into landfills. A family of four with reusable water bottles can save $123,000 after five years. If you add in the amount of water needed to drill for the oil to make the petroleum-based plastic or the water to make the paper labels, you’re looking at a much larger “water footprint”. The results of the bottled water testing. Less understood is plastic’s substantial water footprint. Perrier Strawberry Flavored Carbonated Mineral Water, 16.9 Fl Oz (24 Pack) Plastic Bottles 4.7 out of 5 stars 10,670 # 1 Best Seller in Mineral Drinking Water. If you are only talking about non-carbonated water, the pressure inside the water bottle will be the ambient air pressure at the facility where the bottled water is filled. "Bottled water products are extremely efficient in terms of water use compared to some other packaged beverages," says Chris Hogan, spokesman for the International Bottled Water Association. Polyethylene terephthalate (PET or PETE) plastic – the source material of water bottles, soda bottles and more — makes up 10.2 percent of global plastic production. It takes 22 gallons of water to produce one pound of plastic, and double the amount of water found in a standard 500 mL bottle. "Packaging makes a significant footprint," he says, adding that three liters of water might be used to make a half-liter bottle. have bottling operations with a long history of using and polluting residents’ scarce water supplies. Vorosmarty goes on to say that global trade can “[outsource] environmental problems to countries with lax regulation[s] that host highly polluting manufacturing or agriculture.” Not only can environmental problems be outsourced from one country to another, but also from one region to another within a country, particularly to places that are more open to resource exploitation or that have accommodating regulatory conditions. A mound of plastic bottles at a recycling plant near Bangkok in Thailand. Accounting for all the water involved in production underscores how plastic — especially the single-use plastic created for beverage bottles and the rest of the food packaging industry — encourages consumers to pour good water down the drain. 93% of the water bottles had some contamination from plastic particles. Kurt @ Money Counselor says. The water footprint accounts for the total volume of freshwater consumed in the entire production process. Usually, they point to the roughly 50 billion (mostly plastic) bottles we throw away every year. It’s no secret that reusable water bottles are better for the environment. ; 50 billion water bottles were sold in the US every 12 months. If you use disposable water bottles, here are some important concerns you should know about how they’re made as well as the problems they cause for the planet, your health, and your wallet. The plastic used to make water and pop bottles is polyethylene terephthalate or PET, which is also known as No. The amount of water to make the bottle could be up to six or seven times what's inside the bottle, according to the Water Footprint Network. Kai Olson-Sawyer In fact, plastic bottles take about three times as much water to produce than they can actually hold. It’s no question that plastic bottles (and bottled water) are bad for the environment. To calculate the total water footprint of PET plastic, both the “blue” and “grey” footprints have to be assessed, which means taking into account not just the water consumed during creation of the raw material, but also the water required to reduce the thermal pollution from cooling water heated during processing. When you expose plastic bottles to … The bottled water industry has grown rapidly over the past few years. In India, for instance, soft drink giants. "You could extrapolate that ad infinitum," he says. Notorious for being a luxury good with a troubling profile, FIJI Water’s plastic bottle life cycle exposes a predicament for consumers who think they are buying a product that is healthy but in fact, could be quite damaging to the environment. Of that, approximately 6.3 billion MT was wasted, with the majority ending up in landfills and the natural environment, while only 9 percent was recycled. That means by using a reusable water bottle, you could save an average of 156 plastic bottles annually. In India, for instance, soft drink giants PepsiCo and Coca-Cola have bottling operations with a long history of using and polluting residents’ scarce water supplies. 2. Not only do they require a lot of energy to manufacture, but they pollute the environment as well. Today, the convenience of disposable water bottles means that we can find bottled water almost everywhere we go. Plastic water bottles also contain plastic softeners known as phthalates which can also be toxic to the health of the consumer. Start drinking different!-Asaiah. Ercin says a true water footprint includes all freshwater used in production, including the water used for packaging. In the case of plastic production, if it occurs within a stressed watershed, and if water management within that watershed is suboptimal, then consumers who reach for those plastic products are unwittingly contributing to unsustainable water use. The final step includes molding these pellets into plastic packaging. Take FIJI Water, for instance. This becomes even more contentious during times of drought for these already water-scarce areas of India. It is catastrophic in every sense of the word. FACT #4 The PET resin is reportedly made in China, the leading resin-producing nation, where it is then shipped to Fiji, molded into the signature square bottles, filled with Fiji artesian water and exported around the world. , Robin Madel. How much does it cost to produce plastic bottles? On a geological time scale, so much plastic has been deposited on Earth since the start of the plastic age that we could call the stratum the “Pampers layer.”. Here in the United States, it is increasingly likely that the resin used to make plastic came from the Texas Gulf region, which often experiences its own water stress. Based on these numbers, it takes about 1.4 gallons (5.3 liters) of water to produce a typical single-use water or soda bottle. West Texas is in the midst of a boom in which record amounts of oil and natural gas are extracted using hydraulic fracturing (fracking) techniques, with industrial Texas Gulf hubs like Houston and Corpus Christi producing more PET resin than ever before. The results, released this month, show that for North American companies, it takes 1.39 liters to make one liter of water. An estimate 1,500 plastic bottles end up as waste in landfills or thrown in the ocean every second. "Water," Hogan says," is the lifeblood of the industry and they want to be as efficient as possible. In the Corpus Christi area, water resources are already at risk from scarcity and pollution, and the problems are being compounded by the development of the burgeoning petrochemical industry. A Penn State University study found the average American can save $1,236/year if using a reusable water bottle instead of buying plastic. Plastic water bottles contain a sizable amount of Bisphenol A (BPA), a substance that has been classified as an endocrine disruptor, meaning it bears a toxic effect on a human’s ability to reproduce. by Around 300 million tonnes of plastic is made every year and most of it is not recycled. According to the plastic waste study referenced above, from 2002 to 2014 approximately 3.83 billion MT of PET plastic resin was produced worldwide — this is equivalent to 29,000,000,000,000,000 plastic water bottles. But they’re also better for your health, according to a new study.It revealed that Americans are ingesting between 74,000 and 121,000 tiny pieces of plastic, known as microplastics, each year from the food we eat, the air we breathe, and the water we drink. Bottled water companies (along with many other beverage companies) should include the water in their supply chain, says Ertug Ercin with the Water Footprint Network. 1 plastic. And you need water to make the paper, too, he adds. Fracking has a notoriously large water footprint, and industrial expansion around Corpus Christi now includes two thirsty petrochemical facilities that process the building block components of plastic using fracked oil and gas. Because so much water use and pollution occurs from trade that moves water “virtually” around regions, countries and continents, local water mismanagement can lead to clashes over water resources. Still, Ercin notes, bottled water packaging uses far less water than soda, which needs extra water to grow sugar and make dyes. Plastic water bottles are petroleum based. If you fill a plastic water bottle so it is about 25% full, that’s about how much oil it took to make the bottle. The sheer amount of plastic that infiltrates people’s lives and Earth’s spaces is massive. Drilling for oil to make plastic, Ercin says, uses a substantial amount of groundwater. In other words, the amount of water going into making the bottle could be up to six or seven times what's inside the bottle. The moment the modern plastic beverage bottle changed the world’s drinking habits is difficult to pinpoint. Provoked by the ExxonMobil cracker development next door, concerned citizens and environmental groups in Portland banded together to protect their local water and air. Because so much water use and pollution occurs from trade that moves water “virtually” around regions, countries and continents, local water mismanagement can lead to clashes over water resources. This does not mean the problems can be ignored. This means that three litres of water is needed to make a water bottle that only holds one litre. Environmental activists have long claimed that bottled water is wasteful. Plastic in the garbage is not only an issue because it could have … plastic production is often, by design, one of the most unsustainable, for the growing backlash against plastic food and beverage packaging. Image Credit: David Silverman/Getty Images News/Getty … The majority of the time, a disposable plastic water bottle ends up in landfills where it takes up to 1,000 years to break them down, if not more. Wine demands 4.74 liters to David Attenborough shining a light on the issue. 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2020 how much water is in a plastic water bottle