Trickle-Down Effects of Disposable Water Bottles Run Deep
by: Leslie Jones

“Recycling one plastic bottle can save enough energy to power a 60-watt light bulb for six hours”.*   Imagine how much energy Americans could save if every one of the estimated 30 to 50 billion water bottles that are thrown away each year were recycled!  Although it seems impractical to think that every one of them would be recycled, if even half of them wound up in the recycling bin instead of the landfill, it would impact the United States greatly.  

“Plastic is the world’s greatest source of pollution and water bottles make up the largest portion of the plastic in landfills today. As you may know, plastic does not degrade quickly, and may be harming our soil and animals. Plastic particles have even been linked to human health issues, as when we eat fish, for example, we often consume everything the fish has been exposed to – including chemicals leached from plastics. Even though the world has steadily gained more knowledge about recycling, today, most bottles still end up in landfills”.**


More alarming than the energy saved, however, is the amount of petroleum used to manufacture each water bottle.  An estimated 4 - 5 ounces of pure petroleum is needed to produce and distribute one bottle!  The usage of “disposable” water bottles has been, and continues to be, on the rise; therefore, an inordinate amount of resources continue to be used for its production.

If you enjoy being able to have water bottles in your fridge and simply grab ‘n go, you can identify with millions of others around the nation.  The convenience factor is a compelling reason for many things we do in such a fast-paced time of instant gratification.  Sophisticated electronics, pre-packaged or fast food, and of course....water bottles.  If we choose responsible alternatives, such as using a refillable water jug in the refrigerator and a reusable personal water bottle, the trickle-downeffects will run deep.