Water is a basic necessity for life on earth; it composes up to 60% of an adult’s body, while an infant’s body consists of up to 75% of water. Our muscles need water to do the work and our kidneys use it to filter the impurities in our blood; it is essential to drink enough water in order to remain healthy. More and more people have been drinking bottled water instead of tap water.
Oil is used and wasted in the process of making bottled water, oceans are filling up with plastic, chemical toxins are being leaked into the water from the plastic, and so much plastic is being used when we could be using it for more important necessities. With this in mind, should bottled water be banned? Although, from all of the chemical toxins leaked into the water from the plastic, to the oil that we can save, if bottled water was banned our world would be a much cleaner place.
About 17 million barrels of oil are used to produce water bottles per year, but over 50 million barrels of oil are used to pump, process, transport, and refrigerate our bottled water every year. This is enough oil to run 100,000 cars for a whole year! Growth in bottled water production has majorly increased water withdrawal in areas near bottling plants, which is causing water shortages that are affecting nearby consumers and farmers. Also, in addition to the millions of gallons of water used in the plastic-making process, two gallons of water are wasted in the purification process for every gallon that goes into the bottles.
Water bottles are made of completely recyclable polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastics, but PETs don’t biodegrade they photodegrade, meaning that they break down into smaller fragments over time. These fragments absorb toxins that pollute mostly our waterways, and sicken animals (which we then eat). According to the Ocean Conservatory, plastic bottles are the most widespread form of pollution found on our beaches and in our oceans. Every square mile of the ocean has over 46,000 pieces of floating plastic in it. 10% of the plastic manufactured worldwide ends up in the ocean, the majority of which is settling on the ocean floor where it will never degrade.
Depending on the situation, plastics can actually release different chemicals. The two chemicals that are the biggest threat to us are Dioxin and Bisphenol A (BPA). Leaving bottled water in your car is very dangerous. Water bottles have been identified as the most common cause of high levels of dioxin in breast cancer tissue. Plastics such as BPA can leak into our water bottle and can actually have a have a hormone-like effect on the human reproductive system, as well as other negative health effects. What’s even worse is that more than 90% of Americans have been exposed to this chemical (BPA) through the use of plastic water bottles.
Almost 1 billion people across the globe will go to bed hungry and thirsty tonight; 200 million of them will be children. 1,500 bottles of water are being consumed per second in the U.S. So why are we so selfish? There are adults with their children going thirsty and hungry all over the world tonight, while we have excess amounts of water and food being taken for granted. If we are manufacturing all of this plastic for the water bottles, why can’t they go to places where they need them more than us! We need to be able to share what we have with our people all across the globe.
While we can’t deny the fact that water bottles will be completely banned, we can attempt to limit them for only important events such as natural disasters, when tap water is not as easily accessible like bottled water would be. First of all, everyone should know the reasons why bottled water should be banned, and the risks that they are putting themselves at by drinking the water from the plastic bottles. By banning the production of bottled water would be saving us tons of oil, people would be healthier, the oceans and animals would be healthier, cleaner, and we would be making better use of our plastic and our money.