Water Bottles & The Environment

In order to enjoy the healthful benefits of drinking water, and to avoid the chemical taste of most municipal tap water, Americans have been flocking to bottled water for decades.  In fact, last year, Americans purchased more than 4 billion gallons of bottled water, commonly in 12-16 ounce containers, call it 16 BILLION water bottles, in America alone, used in a single year.

Environmental experts consider the water bottle fad to be a huge environmental threat.  The biggest threat is perhaps not what you think!   The creation of the "PET" plastic water bottle consumes precious oil and natural gas to manufacture:  in fact, one source caluculates the amount of oil required to make one water bottle as the equivalent of one quarter of that bottle filled with oil.  Next, that bottle has to be transported to the store, and then to your home, yet  another attack on your personal carbon footprint.

And you thought the waste stream was the biggest environmental problem from water bottles?  Well, it's not the biggest problem, but it IS a problem.  Tom Moreau, Executive Director of the Chittenden Solid Waste District estimates that only 50% of the water bottles in our area are recyled.  That leaves a huge number of long-lived plastic bottles that clog up our landfills.  Moreau says the mission of the CSWD is to reduce the amount of trash generated, and then reycle as much of that trash as possible.  He has long seen water bottles as a problem, and in fact has had a water filtration system in his home for nine years!  "I strongly support the use of water from home and the use of reusable water bottles", says Moreau.  In Chittenden County, Vermont alone, Moreau estimates that 183 TONS of water bottles are ending up in the landfill!

Take the Free Taste test Tuesday-Friday, 9am-4:30pm, or Saturday 9am-12 noon at the Blodgett Bath Showplace, 100 Ave D in Williston, VT.