If you happen to be one of those disbelievers who think that the worldwide hue and cry about global warming and climate crisis is some gigantic conspiracy, then this article is not for you.
If you see young activists like Greta Thunberg and world leaders like Barack Obama singing the same tune about the need for corporate responsibility, and still think that nature will manage on its own, then this article is not for you.
However, if you believe in science, data, and simple common sense & observation, then you can’t really miss the writing on the wall. Have seen the weather in your own city behave strangely in the last 5-10 years, and if you think that we humans might have something to do with this erratic behavior, then read on!
We all know how plastics is one of those villains that we simply can’t seem to get rid of in our climate challenge. But today we are going to focus on something more specific in the war against plastic- Bottled Water
Source: Project Concern International
I surely don’t need to explain why the easy availability of clean water is essential to human health. As per a report on the World Health Organization, only 71% of the global population has access to clean drinking water. That means, around 2 billion people still drink contaminated water.
The number of diseases that can arise from contaminated or stale water can fill up pages. When plastic bottles of water began to be sold by the millions, we were quick to point out how this would reduce the consumption of sugary aerated drinks and help people keep themselves hydrated while on the road. In order to create one small convenience, we ended up with a can full of harmful consequences. How?
7 Strong Reasons to Ban Bottled Water
1. You are literally eating plastic
A study by Orb Media and the State University of New York found that bottled water samples contained nearly twice as many pieces of micro-plastic per liter (10.4) than the tap water samples (4.45), with 93% of bottles showing some sign of micro-plastic contamination. This means that every sip you take from that plastic bottle of water contains minuscule plastic particles that are entering your system. And our body is not capable of digesting any plastic. Constant exposure to this leached plastic can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, higher blood cholesterol, and low blood sugar.
2. Demand for bottled water increases the demand for plastic production
Source: The Lincoln Squirrel
The more bottles of water you buy, the more the companies produce. Think about the number of companies selling plastic bottles of water 10 years back and how it has multiplied now. This has happened only and only because WE ALL demanded it. This is one of the most basic principles of economics. If your demand for plastic bottled water goes down, the companies will have no reason to keep churning them out. Reduced plastic in the world can have no negative impact!
3. The manufacturing process emits harmful chemicals
People living in close proximity to plastic manufacturing factories have been found to have birth defects quite often. This is due to the regular contact with air, water and soil that absorbs the chemicals being emitted from plastic factories. They might be located far away from bustling towns and cities but don’t ignore those people who live in remote areas around factories.
4. Calculate the expenditure
Have you ever actually calculated how many dollars you spend to ‘keep yourself hydrated’? You would save plenty of bucks if you stopped buying bottled water; and no one’s going to get poorer. Most of the companies selling bottled water are big corporate houses and not local small businesses. You are not putting any jobs on the line by reducing consumption.
5. Less than 1% of the bottles get recycled
Source: The Guardian
Most people just dump the bottles after consumption. Where do these bottles end up? In landfills, in the rivers and oceans, and the forests. They choke up every space they enter as they do not decompose fast. A heap of useless plastic is created for no good reason.
Eliminating plastic water bottle waste would also save local governments money. According to Food & Water Watch, US cities spend over $100 million a year to dispose of such waste. California, Oregon, and Washington spend an estimated $500 million a year removing waste from the Pacific coastline, including waste from plastic water bottles.
6. Depletion of local water supply
Where do you think the water inside the bottles come from? Nobody climbs up mountains to get you fresh fountain water. They come from local municipality sources. During normal times, this doesn’t bother people much. However, in times of water crisis like droughts, companies continue to drain water for their bottles while the locals clamor for a sip of clean water. Whatever doesn’t happen right before our eyes don’t bother us, but it’s perhaps time we opened our eyes a little wider to see the world beyond our four walls.
7. Plastic bottle manufacturing consumes a whole lot of water
Plastic production requires water. The reduction of plastic bottles would directly lead to a reduction of water use by these factories and the locals would have access to more water for their daily needs.
What is the Alternative?
There is only one alternative to plastic water bottle consumption. Carry a reusable bottle with you. A simple task. Costs you only once and that too a fraction of what you end up spending on bottled water. There is no additional work involved in maintaining the bottle if you clean it with the rest of the dishwashing that you do.
What if you finish the water and you feel thirsty again? All offices, public spaces, airports have tap water available to refill your bottle. Remember, the water you’re drinking from the plastic bottle is sourced from those tap waters, so there’s no reason to think of this as a “dirty and unsafe” alternative. If your local body does not do a good job of maintaining the cleanliness of the water taps, that’s the first thing you should fight for as a community.
If you think carrying a refillable bottle is just too much of a task for you, then you can fill your body up with carbonated drinks drowned in sugar, get obese, become immobile enough to get up from your couch and then drink water at home for the rest of your life! Act now and be the change you want to see.