The total consumption of bottled water by Americans on average is 50 billion per annum. Every day, more than 100 million of plastic bottles have been manufactured, transported, and disposed of. Chicago government has begun to impose a five-cent tax on each bottle of water purchased at retail to discourage the habit of drinking water from plastic bottles. Starting from 2013, Concord (a town in Massachusetts) has even implemented a ban on the sale of bottles of water, which has capacity less than 1 litre.

Only 20% of used plastic bottles is recycled and sent to refineries for processing. Most of the rest of the used bottles are to be buried as the “Earth tumor” which may take up 1000 years to completely decompose. Now, there are even some plastic ‘trash islands’ forming in garbage patch floating in the centre of the Pacific Ocean.

Another problem is the carbon release from the plastic bottles. To produce a 1-litre bottle of water, the process involves at least 17.5 litres of water. After bottled water has come out from the production line, it still needs to undergo a long journey of transporting, shelving and storage. According to some estimates, if a ton of Evian Mineral Water needs to travel from Europe to Sydney in Australia, a total of 84kg carbon dioxide will be emitted directly into the air. In a single year of 2012, all Australians consumed nearly 150 million litres of bottled water, which is equivalent to 1.2 million tons of carbon dioxide emission.

Photo Credit & Source of Information: EDI City Newsweek Magazine

This article is written by 書露(Shu Lu).

Special Thanks to Yoyo Lai for the English translation.