Get Plastic Bottle Facts and Learn Why You Should Ditch Disposables
We’re counting down to Earth Day by sharing facts and offering the best reusable solutions at a discount and through giveaways to get you started. This week let’s focus on water bottle pollution and why you should choose to reuse.
Get the Facts: Single-Use Plastic Bottle Pollution
Half a Trillion Used Every Year
In the U.S. we use 50 billion plastic water bottles annually. Since the plastic recycling rate in the U.S. is a meager 9% (and declining), that’s a lot of trashed bottles. Globally, it is estimated that we use a staggering half a trillion plastic water bottles a year. The energy it takes to produce water in a plastic bottle is as much as 2,000 times the energy needed to produce tap water. And of course, once plastic water bottles become trash, they don’t disappear, but instead last forever polluting our soil, waterways and our bodies.
What’s In the Water
Bottled water is less regulated than municipal tap water. According to the NRDC, about one-quarter of water in plastic bottles contains contaminants above state health limits. Beyond Plastics cited a recent study that found tiny pieces of plastic (microplastics) in 93% of the globally-sourced bottled water, with unknown effects on our health. And, many bottled water companies are using tap water to fill their plastic bottles—and charging a lot for it. The bottled-water industry campaigned successfully against the FDA’s proposal to limit phthalates in bottled water. Tap water, however does have regulatory standards limiting the chemicals.
Change is Happening
California enacted the nation’s first law requiring plastic beverage containers to contain an increasing amount of recycled material. Specifically, sports drinks, soda and water must use 15% recycled plastic in their bottles by next year, 25% by 2025, and 50% by 2030. Independent grocery stores New Leaf Market and New Leaf Community Markets will eliminate single-use water bottles from all 24 stores by Earth Day (still water, 1 liter or smaller, in single-use plastic, fiber, aluminum or glass containers).
The groundbreaking Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act of 2020 reduces single-use plastic and increases plastic recycling. The federal bill makes certain manufacturers fiscally responsible for collecting, managing, and recycling or composting the products after they are used. Sometimes these types of laws simply replace one disposable product with another, but this is a good first step. Ultimately reusables are always the best choice.
Flash Sale + Giveaway
The good news? You can easily reduce plastic bottle pollution. Head over to the U-Konserve Instagram to enter our Earth Day Countdown Giveaways, and ukonserve.com to get details about our Earth Day Countdown Flash Sales. Buy once, refill forever!
Main image credit: National Wildlife Federation.