Down the Drain!

By PSU EcoMerge Capstone - 3:24 PM

“Down the drain”

I found this article in the May/June 2006 issue of Waste Management World. Pat Franklin nailed the hype, myths, and ramifications of the global phenomenon of bottled water. The US consumes the most closely followed by Mexico, China, Brazil, Italy and Germany. In the US, we drink 70 million bottles of water/day, throw 60 million empties/day into landfills or incinerators, recycle a few then most of the rest end up clogging our streams, winding their way down rivers and ultimately finding rest floating somewhere in the ocean or on some distant shore. It’s a national disgrace and a perfect example of profit making, consumer gullability and apathy towards the environmental costs of the “new age” twist on the age-old water of life.

A few points … In many places, including the US and Europe there are more regulations for tap than bottled water. Dasani which IS filtered tap water costs up to 4000 times more than home filtered water … and up to 10,000 times more than regular tap water!!! The individual bears the initial financial costs but the environmental pays a far higher price. The costs come mainly from manufacturing, transportation and disposal of the bottles but the water extraction process in the manufacturing communities puts severe strains on the ecosystem.

Some ways to stem this tide … educate consumers that tap water is safe or even safer than the bottled version, that there is a terrible environmental impact and then give financial incentives to dispose of the empties responsibly. Statistics both in the US and Sweden show that refundable deposits work. US States with Soda Bottle and Can Deposit Laws recycle 75% of those bottles and cans. Sweden recycles 80% of all aluminum cans and plastic bottles.

This is one of the many examples where manufacturers, retailers, advertisers, consumers, politicians, and lobbyists must come together before the price bankrupts both our bank accounts and our environment

To read more click here!
http://www.container-recycling.org/mediafold/newsarticles/plastic/2006/5-WMW-DownDrain.htm

~LA Blair

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http://sites.google.com/site/ecomerge2008/

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