Water Bottle Facts

Too Many Bottles-It is a Waste

  • Single-serve bottled water is the fastest growing beverage of choice in the United States.
  • Americans purchased nearly 31 billion bottles of water in 2006 and spend $11 billion on bottled water every year.
  • Nearly 2.5 billion bottles of water a year are sold in New York alone-stacked up end to end, they’d reach the moon.

It’s a Waste of Money

  • Tap water creates less pollution and uses far less energy and natural resources than transporting and manufacturing of plastic water bottles.
  • Bottled water costs as much as $10 per gallon-tap water costs less than one cent per gallon.
  • Nationally, local governments spend $43 billion per year to deliver some of the highest quality water in the world.
  • In New York, we spend $2 billion per year to provide safe, clean drinking water to the public.

It’s a Waste of Plastic

  • Unlike soda and other carbonated beverages, there is no deposit on water bottles so fewer are recycled.
  • Nationally, only 10% of plastic water bottles are recycled-90% end up as either garbage or litter.
  • 30 million single-serve non-returnable containers end up in landfills or as litter every day.
  • We spend millions annually to clean up plastic bottles that litter our highways, parks and open spaces.

It’s a Waste of Energy

  • 18 million barrels of crude oil equivalent were consumed in 2005 to replace the 2 million tons of plastic bottles that were wasted instead of recycled.
  • Manufacturing that much plastic releases more than 800,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, contributing to global climate change.
  • If we recycled the water bottles used in New York, we would save more than 67,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases.
  • In New York, the oil used to make our bottles is equal to 66 million gallons of gasoline; enough to power 120,000 automobiles for a year.

Taking Action

  • Since New York adopted the bottle bill in 1982, 90.6 billion beverage containers have been recycled. Roadside container litter has been reduced over 70%.
  • San Francisco and Los Angeles have banned city departments from buying bottled water. Ann Arbor, Michigan is calling for city events to be bottled water free. Salt Lake City urges city workers not to buy bottled water. Maine, Hawaii, California and Oregon have deposit laws that include bottled water.

What You Can Do

  • Recycle or return all of your beverage containers.
  • Pick up bottles along the road or sidewalk and recycle them.
  • Drink tap water-it’s better for the environment, even using a filter is cheaper than buying bottles.
  • Get involved-help start a recycling program at school, work and sporting events.
  • Buy and refill reusable bottles.
  • Learn more about your local recycling program.

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