The Human Footprint of Plastic Water bottles Essay

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Production and Distribution: Plastic water bottles are considered one of the healthiest beverages you can find in any shop. But are they really all that healthy for the environment, or is there a fine line between a plastic bottled water drink and what’s best for everyone? Let’s take a look at bottled water from the very start to find out. To manufacture plastic bottles, polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is used, and to produce PET, crude oil and natural gas is required. If one fills a plastic water bottle 1/4th full with oil, they will be looking at how much oil was used to make that one bottle, so how much oil does it take to make all of America’s water bottles? According to the Pacific Institute, in 2006, making plastic water bottles…show more content…
In fact 22% of test water bottle brands had chemical contaminants higher than the state limit (ABC, 1). So why do Americans think bottled water is so great? Maybe it’s because of how much companies advertise the product, advertising expenses for bottled water totaled $61 million in 2012 ("International Bottled Water Association" 1). Whatever the reason may be, bottled water is the second most popular beverage in the U.S.A., and more and more bottles of water are being produced and distributed this very second. Impact on Environment: Only 20% of water bottles that are purchased make it to the recycle bin (Gunzelmann 1). So what happens to all the bottles that are not recycled? The bottles first photodegrade, meaning they slowly break down into smaller pieces, and then it is estimated to take between 500 to 1,000 years for the plastic to biodegrade. While the plastic is slowly breaking down, it either stays in a landfill, 38 billion plastic bottles end up in U.S. landfills each year ("Canned Water 4 Kids”); or it ends up in the ocean, According to Canned Water 4 Kids, there is a garbage patch floating in the Pacific Ocean that is estimated to be twice the size of Texas. No matter where the plastic breaks down, the tiny fragments absorb toxins which pollute our seas, lakes, and rivers, contaminate our soil, and poison animals. But how about transporting the water bottles, and drilling for the materials in the very beginning? The natural
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