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Plastic Water Bottles: Really Bad for the Environment

You all know I am all about hydration. I even made a cool little water calculator so you can compute how much water you should be drinking! Now, if you drink a lot of bottled water, I am urging your to take a minute and weigh your convenience against the environmental impact of all that plastic.

Most folks drink their bottled water on the go and there is no convenient way to recycle the plastic bottles. In 2003, about 40 million bottles a day went into the trash, or even more unfortunately became litter. These billions of bottles take up valuable landfill space, leak toxic additives into the groundwater and take a whopping 1,000 years to biodegrade, if ever.

The high price of bottled water is not the water but, in actuality, the cost of the bottling, packaging, shipping, marketing, retailing and transporting it all over the globe. When calculating your carbon footprint, you might want to consider the carbon footprint of the bottled water you drink. Next time you pick up a bottle of Fiji Water, think about the distance the bottle and the water have traveled before it hits your lips.

It is true that tap water is more regulated than bottled water, so you should drink from the tap. Want to read about some alternatives to drinking plastic bottled water? Then read more.

  • Filter your tap water with a Brita Water Filter, especially if lead and mercury are your major concerns.
  • Pour your filtered tap water into a metal SIGG bottle. They are lightweight, durable and dishwasher safe. I love mine!
  • Buy Biota bottled water. The bottle is made from 100 percent corn (a renewable resources) and it decomposes in a commercial composting situation in 70 to 80 days. It will take longer to break down in a home composting pile, but it breaks down.
  • If you do happen to buy a plastic bottle, just remember to recycle it.
Join The Conversation
john-steven-grissom john-steven-grissom 6 years
I understand the impact of the water bottles on society, should we blame the companies who originally started using these plastic bottles en masse? What are the hazards to humans who re-use washable plastic containers, such as......harmful bacterias? Any studies on this?
garthw garthw 7 years
nice one! I like the reusable bottles a lot. I use a water filter at home and combined with the water bottle I always have good filtered water at hand.
mademoiselle2009 mademoiselle2009 8 years
any one who's still reading this post.... think of the money you will save too! if you spend $1 a day for an entire year on a bottle of water, you're spending 365 dollars. but investing in a safe bottle like a Sigg, Nalgene (safe now!) or a Klean Kanteen, you'll save about 340 dollars a year!!! And help save the planet too!! Totally worth it in my opinion! I have a Sigg bottle that says "Make Love not Landfill" it's a conversation starter in itself, I've even been called a "hippie recycler" but hey, maybe i am!!
Lianna Lianna 10 years
I'm totally against soft plastic bottles. I have a bottle from LuLulemmon and one supplied by my college, but I'm starting to hear all this about #7 BPA? I'm not too sure about it, but they both have the symbol on them... did I waste money on the one I just bought? Should I invest in a SIGG?
DCStar DCStar 10 years
Thanks for posting this Fit! I think it's great that everyone is starting to switch their soda for water and juices, BUT I just think of all the plastic bottles! I usually buy a giant plastic bottle of water, and then reuse it a dozen times before recycling, but I like these ideas even better.
bibelot bibelot 10 years
SO excited - I just ordered my SIGG bottle today! It's pretty....I got the cleaning tablets and cleaning brush, too, so that I can keep it in perfect shape. You can take a look at it here: I hope it comes by the end of June - that way I can take it on my trip to Austria. Yay!
mellie_608 mellie_608 10 years
I just saw this article linked to my blog. I guess I'm a little behind! There is a website link on my blog that was really interesting. I'm glad that Sugar exists to get the word out on so many things that make us informed consumers!
Seraphim Seraphim 10 years
WOW i'm drinking out of my nalgene now! and all i want to do is go out and buy a SIGG...hmmm i would've never thought, thanks!!! i also have a brita purifier and i make sure to fill my bottle up every night so i have a full one in my bag for the beginning of my day! however,i do drink like 3 a day here,... so i refill it at the office from thier supposed *filter* ,better than nothing though :)
the-clam the-clam 10 years
the-clam the-clam 10 years
julieulie, here's a reasonable article about BPA contamination from the University of Cincinnati.
geekygirl geekygirl 10 years
i like the idea of recycling my waterbottles - i've got a 1.5L bottle which i fill every morning and top up at lunch time at work. the only problem is i live in a town (in the middle of nowhere) where it's not safe to drink the water (giardia and krytosperidium and not water treatment plant - just a guy from the council who throws the occasional truck load of chlorine in the water storage tanks!) so i still have to get my water out of a big plastic water canister bought from the shop :( so that's landfill, but atleast i recycle my drink bottle...
krisua krisua 10 years
You are speaking the truth. Too little attention is paid for the enormous amount of plastic bottles around. I will consider it too.
precious-p precious-p 10 years
i recycle and i just found out that plastic water bottles are very difficult to recycle (thanks to regis and kelly's green week!). my concern with the sigg is--is it easy to clean with that narrow opening? i like the nalgenes with the wide opening at the top because they are easy to reach into an clean!
apinkpony apinkpony 10 years
It's great to see someone else looking to do a little to stop the millions of plastic bottles that are thrown away. I've been using Nalgene bottles for several years now, but I am really excited to try a Sigg bottle. I just have to find one first (or order one). Not only are they not plastic, but heck, they're way cuter.
SU3 SU3 10 years
I love my SIGG bottle! I take it with me *everywhere* I go! The one in the picture is really cute! Maybe I should buy another one... Great post!
sigmaration sigmaration 10 years
Thanks for featuring both BIOTA water and metal water bottles! I use a Klean Kanteen -- -- that is all metal and doesn't leach chemicals into the water.
mdbzmom mdbzmom 10 years
Can't wait to check out the SIGG bottle!
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