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EARTH DAY: Water Bottle Crisis

Every year 68 billion plastic water bottles are consumed in the U.S. The majority of them end up in landfill. Divided among the population, this means a per capita consumption of some 30.8 gallons of bottled water.

According to the International Bottled Water Association, the U.S. bottled water per capita was up 5.3% in 2012, the last year for which statistics are available. The data comes with enormous consequences:

  • Too few plastic bottles make their way to the recycling bin: just 1 in 4.
  • The environmental footprint of plastic bottle is calculated in millions of oil barrels.
  • There is a direct human impact: making plastic requires chemicals that known to be hazardous to health. Not every water bottle is BPA-free.



    It’s very refreshing and popular, but 75% of the bottles end up in landfill.



    The replaceable filter in Rubbermaid’s
    traveling water bottle. Photo courtesy

  • Tap water, the easy and cheaper solution, is actually a safer option than spring water or mineral water, even when bottles are BPA-free. Municipal water is regulated and tested frequently. There are no government controls on bottled mineral and spring waters.
    Source: Green Glass Company

    How can you help? Drink from the tap!

    You can add a water purifier device to the tap or install one under the sink.

    You can buy special water bottles with built-in filters. Both of these water bottles have replaceable filters:

  • Rubbermaid water bottle’s filter lasts through 100 bottle refills.
  • The Brita Soft Squeeze Water Bottle’s filter is good for 300 16.9 ounce refills.
    Celebrate Earth Day by picking up one.


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