The original marketing campaign for a water consumption habit was to convince people that dehydration is dangerous. The message was that you should carry a bottled of water with you at all times. Better to pay 300 times more for bottled water than from the tap and risk your health.

Click to enlarge

We thank Judith of Donvale who gathered information for this item. There was a time when people drank because they were genuinely thirsty. People in office jobs didn’t give hydration much thought beyond refilling their cups at the morning tea break. When we attended University, no one carried water into the classrooms. Now at least one out of three students carry a water bottle. This can be attributed to the media’s false advertising that tells us we should be drinking eight glasses of water per day even if we are not thirsty. There is no difference between a glass from the bottle or the tap they are the same as far as the health and nutritional quality are concerned.

In some cases, such as Australian tap water, it is superior because it is tested more frequently. According to health authorities, people drink roughly 10% more bottled water every year but that number could be even higher, some analysts have pointed out, since most sales are for single bottles. Below are some the bottled water waste facts that you need to know, so you can make an informed decision when it comes to choosing the water you drink.

  • Most of the bottled water you buy is just glorified tap water. There are a few brands whose water really comes from springs and mountain streams, but most are just tap water that’s been purified.
  • Only 1 out of 5 plastic bottles is recycled. The rest just becomes litter or get buried somewhere. (1)
  • It takes 1 PET plastic bottle 700 years to start decomposing. Bacteria, which usually helps in breaking down organic materials, don’t like petroleum based plastics. Technically, they can last forever.
  • More than 100 million plastic bottles are used worldwide every day! (2)
  • 90% of the cost of bottled water is due to the packaging, not the water quality. (3)
  • 3 liters of water is used to package 1 bottle of water.
  • Plastic water bottles are petroleum based. In the U.S alone, it takes 1.5 million barrels of oil to meet the demands.
  • An estimate 1,500 plastic bottles end up as waste in landfills or thrown in the ocean every second.
  • There’s an area in the Pacific Ocean the size of Texas – known as The Great Pacific Garbage Patch – which is composed of plastic, where one in six bottles finish up.
  • Plastic is listed as the number one threat to our marine ecosystem.
  • The energy used to manufacture bottled water can power 190,000 homes.
  • Antimony, which causes dizziness and depression and even death can be found in PET plastic bottles.
  • Plastic bottles also contain Bisphenol A which has been linked to obesity, diabetes and cancer.
  • The plastic bottles may be BPA-Free but there are chemicals in the bottles, such as phthalates, can seep into the drink and be harmful to your health.

Click to Enlarge

Click to enlarge

From this data, it’s clear that bottling water is not a health solution, but an illusion that needs to stop. Due to these environmental issues, some countries are thinking of banning the manufacture of water bottles. From your end, how can you do your share in stopping the accumulation of plastic wastes? Bringing your own container that you can refill and purchasing your own filtration system to purify your tap water are just a couple of suggestions which can save the planet, your health and your cash.

Click to enlarge

The environmental cost of the massive consumption of bottled water has led some U.S. and Canadian local governments to consider a ban its sale. While this seems an extreme response, the scientific concerns are well-founded, and the facts may surprise you. Bottles used to package water take over 1,000 years to bio-degrade and if incinerated, they produce toxic fumes. It is estimated that over 80% of all single-use water bottles used in the U.S. simply become “litter.”




  1. starbuck says:

    The jugs of water they used to have at meetings/conferences have been replaced with water bottles.
    It is more for convenience I suppose but you have to wonder why the environment conscious are letting this happen, especially those that want to limit the fossil fuels used in their manufacture. (17 million barrels of oil annually)

  2. Lorraine says:

    I have noticed young people have them in their car on their way to work and you see them taking a swig when they stop at traffic lights. Maybe they didn’t have time to have a cup of coffee or a glass of water before they left home. But it could finish up being a necessity before long as our traffic congestion increases and we will be spending longer periods stuck in gridlock.

  3. Talford says:

    “Plastic manufacturing is estimated to use 8 percent of yearly global oil production. The EPA estimates as many as five ounces of carbon dioxide are emitted for each ounce of polyethylene (PET) produced—the type of plastic most commonly used for beverage bottles”.
    How can we sustain the current increase in the use of plastics and the inability to recycle them while wanting to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by phasing out the burning of fossil fuels?

    1. Carbonara says:

      We have to introduce a deposit scheme on used plastic water bottles and make it profitable enough, possibly 50 cents, to ensure their collection and transportation to storage points across the state. Customers could be forced to pay an extra 50 cents for every plastic water bottle they buy which they could get back by returning them to a collection centre.

      1. Nick says:

        We should go further by imposing a hefty excise on plastic bottles like what we have done with tobacco and make them much more expensive to purchase. We could make glass water bottles exempt and provide people the incentive to stay away from the plastic alternative. Glass is okay because it can be recycled again and again.

  4. Nick says:

    Solutions to the plastic waste crisis do exist, but it is essential that we forget about funding the global warming scam and take responsibility for the plastic products that will outweigh fish in the ocean by 2050 unless we act now. We can fight for total bans on plastic materials (bags, bottles, etc.), but we also need our governments to get off their backsides and force these corporations, who manufacture and distribute plastic, to take responsibility for recycling 100% of their production and distribution. The oil required to manufacture one plastic bottle is equal to one quarter of its volume.

  5. Grace says:

    It is physical activity that brings on thirst. I have never felt thirsty while driving a car to work or sitting at an office desk..This plastic bottle is more like a fashion accessory rather than a hydration necessity.

  6. Bogie Rangers says:

    I can’t help but laugh at this bottled water craze where people are conned into carrying water even though they do no physical work. In the old days water was stored in canvas bags by the forestry workers who would fall the trees by hand using axes and the crosscut saw. They would hang the water bags from branches to keep the water cool. During the school holidays I would help my Uncle who was a tree faller in the Strathbogie Rangers. My job was to keep filling the water bags and boiling the billy and making tea for the workers. My uncle passed away at aged 94.

  7. Hassa says:

    How can they preach the gospel of climate change, which they changed from global warming because it wasn’t, while allowing the the plastic bottled water scam to prosper and turning a blind eye to the 17 million barrels of oil used in their manufacture each year. With all these scams they are perpetrating it might actually encourage the gullible to adopt a “eat drink and be merry and forget about tomorrow, don’t give a dam, look after ourselves attitude”, while the goings good.

  8. Litigous says:

    We would never carry bottled water when travelling around Melbourne but we might have on country trips where there were not so many places where you could stop to get a drink like there is today. Most cars today have air conditioning so there should be less chance of becoming dehydrated you would think.
    Could it be that global warming, (0.40 degrees Celsius per 50 years), is having more of an effect than we realise.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *