Bottled water – The bane of the Earth?

Impressionable Australians are buying bottled water in increasing numbers, which is perhaps down to sleek marketing, supposed health benefits and its fashionable status. Unfortunately, this is bad news for Mother Earth – and not just because 36 per cent of those plastic drinks bottles end up in landfill, never to biodegrade, according to a study carried out by the Bottled Water Alliance.

Plastic not fantastic

Producing these plastic bottles – made as they are from polyethylene terephthalate, which in itself is derived from crude oil – is at a detrimental cost to the environment. Transporting them to their various points of sale, usually packed into gas-guzzling, fume-belching trucks, doesn't lend well to the green appeal. Storing them, usually in energy-sapping refrigerators, only adds to their sizeable carbon footprint.

The carbon footprint is so huge, in fact, that these three factors alone – production, transportation and storage – create the same amount of noxious gases each year as 13,000 moving cars. No, we didn't add a zero.

In addition to this plastic bottle eco-nightmare, the Australian Conservation Foundation revealed that every litre of bottle water produced actually requires three to five litres of H2O to make, causing heavy wastage, as well as 250 millilitres of oil – and the dangers of the black stuff on the environment are well documented.

Lose your bottle, or lose money

Leaving aside the severe environmental effects that buying bottled water can have on the Earth – what about the impact on your wallet or purse?

According to Green Lifestyle, if you refilled a 600ml bottle of water once a day for eight years, it would cost you the same as a single-serving, shop-bought $2.50 bottle. That's because the main cost is found in its expensively produced bottle, lid and label – 90 per cent of it – and bottled water companies have to recoup their money somehow. 

How often do you hear Australian motorists complaining about the price of petrol? It's a recurring conversation at service stations across the nation, but you may be shocked to learn that the cost of a litre of petrol petrol pales into insignificance compared to the price of bottled water.

Bottles of happiness

Onya's ethically-sourced, eco-friendly stainless steel drinks bottles offer the perfect alternative to environmentally-damaging plastic bottles. This way, you need not give up drinking water (come on, we'd never recommend that – but just get it out of the tap!) you can use it over and over, safe in the knowledge that you're helping both your bank balance and the Earth!