Just how much water goes into making that bottle of water? Bottled water companies reportedly use 1.39 liters to make a bottle, but it may be much higher.
Rather than only looking at the amount used to produce the water, the IBWA needs to look at the water used throughout the supply chain. The Water Footprint Network says the bottle itself could require 3 liters of water for production. If you add in the amount of water needed to drill for the oil to make the petroleum-based plastic or the water to make the paper labels, you’re looking at a much larger “water footprint”. We throw away roughly 50 billion plastic bottles each year.
The bottled water industry says this is too much, that “you could extrapolate that ad infinitum,” according to Chris Hogan of the IBWA. He may be right, but at what point do you draw the line. Certainly if you are one of the world’s largest users of plastic bottles, the water used in making those bottles should be a concern of yours.
In testing by the Environmental Working Group, the bottled water industry was found to hide the sources of their water and make it difficult for consumers to learn about how the water was purified. In reality, about half of the bottled water offered on the shelves is nothing more than bottled municipal tap water.
When you add to all of this with the cost of bottled water, it becomes apparent that we’ve been fleeced on this industry. Though a bottle of water might be convenient when you’re out and about, it would be far better to plan in advance and bring your water in a glass or metal bottle from home.