Saturday, August 11, 2007

Bottled water

Do you drink bottled water? If so, why?

As an environmental issue, bottled water has not received as much attention as deforestation, climate change or mass extinction, but it did score a mention in today's SMH. I hadn't thought about it until I read a paper from Frank Emanuel outlining some of the problems it causes, such as:

• higher levels of bacteria than quality tap water;
• transfer of toxins from the plastic bottle to the water;
• the production of a plastic bottle creates 100 times more carbon emissions than making a glass bottle;
• 1.5 million tonnes of plastic water bottles are created each year, only a fraction of which are subsequently recycled;
• bottled water costs about 10,000 times as much as tap water;
• and perhaps worst of all, the privitisation of water amongst the rich removes the incentive for ensuring high quality tap water for all.
Speaking of Frank, here is another rant worth reading.


Dave Lankshear said...

Glad you mentioned this mate... it's worth bringing to people's attention.

Lester Brown from Earth-Policy talks more about bottled water here.

Christopher said...

In the Lonely Planet for Cambodia and SE Asia it mentions the real difficulty that those countries face due to bottled water. As their tap water is not great, the millions of tourists drink bottled water and as there are limited places to refill these bottles the tourists simply throw away the bottle and buy another.

Dave Lankshear said...

Maybe if the western nations donated all the money going into the bottled water industry, we could donate clean water infrastructure to some of these countries?

One of Freedom said...

Christopher, that really shows the complete absense of mind in which so many choose to live. The alternative is quite depressing, actually, but in a way that opens us up to reality as it really is. In that place you either find a source of hope or you give upon life. This is exactly why I am so passionate about theology. I don't really see a way out of this mess without it. (Even though sometimes it is our screwed up theology that has gotten us into this mess.)