Last week I went to the movies with a friend who bought a 12-ounce bottle of water to bring into the theater…for $3.75. Come on. Seriously? I realize that the movie theaters and other areas with “captive audiences” such as amusement parks, ski resorts, etc. gauge the prices of food and beverages, but the main issue with bottled water isn’t the absurd price we have become accustomed to paying for it. While the price is ridiculous…we are talking about an essentially free commodity after all…what is even more alarming is the impact the multi-billion dollar bottled water industry is having on our environment and our health.
Thankfully the global impact of bottled water has fired up a lot of advocacy groups. Some of you may be aware that this past Monday, March 22nd, was World Water Day (…I had no idea). In honor of World Water Day, The Story of Stuff Project released a very compelling video called The Story of Bottled Water. This 8-minute animated film (view below), hosted by Annie Leonard, the creator of the internet hit The Story of Stuff, was co-produced with five leading sustainability advocacy organizations: Corporate Accountability International, Environmental Working Group, Food & Water Watch, Polaris Institute and Pacific Institute.
Many of you probably already know bottled water has the potential to cause harm due to leaching of the plastic in the bottles. Watch the video and you will learn some other startling facts. Here are a few that struck me:
- Bottled water costs 2000 times more than tap water
- Americans buy half a billion (yes, billion) bottles of water every week – enough to circle the globe more than 5 times!
- Each year making the plastic water bottles used in the US uses enough oil and energy to fuel 1 million cars
- 80% of water bottles do not get recycled but instead end up in land fills
Bottled water may be the greatest marketing and advertising scam of all time. Don’t buy into the hype! For more information on the myths discussed in the film, such as the taste and safety of bottled vs. tap water, click here.
Do you often buy bottled water? If so, are you inspired to “think outside the (disposable plastic) bottle” and start using a refillable bottle instead? Are you willing to spread the word? If so, please forward this blog post or the following link to friends and family: http://storyofstuff.org/bottledwater/