Bottled Water Alternatives
Cutting Beverage Container Waste, A to Z:
Bottled Water Alternatives
Bottled water consumption has grown more sharply than any other beverage type. Between 1976 and 1996, U.S. bottled water consumption increased 10-fold: from 337 million gallons to 3.2 billion gallons. By 2002 it surpassed 5 billion gallons. In terms of individual bottles sold, water consumption grew from about 3 billion units in 1997 to about 23 billion in 2004, and probably more than 25 billion in 2005.
Bottled water consumption continues to grow, as the public’s appetite for it appears to be insatiable. Many organizations and news sources have profiled the growth of bottled water, and are concerned about it not only for environmental reasons (since fewer than 15% of PET plastic water bottles are currently recycled), but because society’s acceptance of drinking bottled water threatens to undermine the importance of maintaining safe public drinking water supplies and threatens the sustainability of safe water supplies.
Offices and institutions can promote the use of water coolers and water fountains. At the individual level, people can install filters on their kitchen faucets, or use tabletop filtered pitchers, to improve the taste of their local tap water. Best yet, citizens can become involved in efforts to monitor and improve the quality of their municipal water supply. If this is impossible in the short-term, 3-gallon jugs of water from the supermarket, or 5-gallon coolers by subscription, are at least a better alternative than single-serving plastic water bottles. Some supermarkets and freestanding water stations provide consumers with an opportunity to refill their containers.
- “Bottled Water: Pure Drink or Pure Hype?” report by the Natural Resources Defense Council
- “Message in a Bottle,” cover story in E magazine
- “Bottled Water: Better Than the Tap?” US Food and Drug Administration
- “Is Bottled Water Better Than Tap?” story by ABC News
- Inside the Bottle: A campaign on the bottled water industry
- Corporate Water Privatization website of the Sierra Club
- Bottled Water CRI's comprehensive bottled water resource
- Bottled Water: Pouring Resources down the Drain from Earth Policy News
- Mirage Water Maker: Makes drinking water from water in the air
- Sigg aluminum bottles: Why use flimsy plastic bottles when you can use durable aluminum? *product submitted by Constanza Zordan
- www.watermillexpress.com: Customers vend 1, 3 or 5 gallons of water into their own clean bottles
- Xziex: Machines that create clean drinking water by condensing and purifying atmospheric humidity