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The True Cost of Water Bottle Pollution

At the grocery store, most people wouldn’t think twice about reaching for a case of bottled water. Why not? It’s quick, convenient and healthier than soda. So it’s worth paying a little extra, right?

But the cost might actually be greater than what you pay at check out, especially for the environment.

Americans buy more bottled water than any other nation, according to National Geographic, adding 29 billion water bottles to the plastic-waste problem.

On top of that, only one in every six bottles we use actually makes it to the recycling bin. That means the rest end up accumulating in landfills, lakes, rivers, and in the ocean.

Depending on the type of plastic, it can take 450 years for some water bottles to decompose, according to the U.S. National Park Service. In the meantime, they’re piling up, threatening our aquatic life and natural resources for water.

So why do we buy bottled water in the first place?

It’s often perceived to be cleaner, as a result of clever marketing and imagery of pristine spring water pictured on labels. But, in reality, the federal government does not require bottled water to be any safer than tap, according to the National Resources Defense Council.

And you could be spending up to 10,000 times more money for it per gallon.

To help save your wallet and the environment, reduce or eliminate your water bottle usage. You can start with your own shopping cart — by trading in your plastic water bottle for a BPA-free refillable one.

By re-filling your bottle with filtered water from your kitchen sink, you can get the water purity you want, without the waste you don’t.

It’s a small change that can make a big difference for the preservation of our environment.


National Geographic
U.S. National Park Service, Mote Marine Lab
National Resources Defense Council