The phenomenon of bottled water is certainly nothing new; it’s been around since the 1980s. Unlike many things that came out of the 80s, such as the Sinclair C5, bottled water has remained high in popularity. The argument about how necessary it is to drink water from a bottle continues to rage and people continue to pay high amounts for water in a plastic bottle that goes on to cause problems for the environment.
If you buy a bottle of water you might not necessarily think about the problems that disposing of it can cause for the world; of course one bottle is not a problem on its own but put it together with over 50 million bottles sold each year across the globe and you can see how big the issue is. In areas where fresh drinking water is required for several people it makes more sense to have a water cooler dispenser in place.
The Impact That Bottled Water Has on the Environment
The bottled water industry is big business and you can see why when you consider the millions of bottles of water that are purchased each year. One of the major impacts this has on the environment is the amount of fossil fuel that is used to produce each bottle; the fuel used is equivalent to around a quarter of that same bottle filled with oil.
In an environment where fossil fuels are dwindling, and where the search is on for cleaner fuel, this is not good news. Another issue with plastic water bottles is that the polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastics from which they are made do not biodegrade but rather photodegrade. This means that they take a long time to decompose; potentially hundreds of years.
The small pieces which they break down into absorb toxic substances which pollute the earth and the water around us. An incredible 10% of plastic produced ends up in the oceans of the world; this is a major environmental concern. Although you may think that plastic bottles are recycled this very often is not the case and they end up in the water or at the bottom of landfills polluting the earth.
Why Bottled Water is Not Safer to Drink
Despite the environmental impact of drinking bottled water, many people still do so because they think it’s better for them; this is not the case. There is even some evidence to suggest that the plastic can contaminate the water and cause issues such as a raised risk of developing some types of cancer. The water in a bottle is also just as likely to be contaminated as tap water.
In the majority of cases tap water is as safe as or safer to drink than bottled water. If you have several people to provide water for it may seem tempting to provide bottles as it’s a simple way of distributing large amounts of water. Given the environmental impact of doing this it makes more sense to put a water cooler dispenser in place, for people to get a drink from.
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