Why Reusable Bottles

Below is a list of reasons to switch from buying bottled water over and over again to buying one reusable bottle for life:

Impacts of making the plastic bottle:

• Bottled water generates up to 600 times more CO2 than tap water
• New research shows that drinking a bottle of water has the same impact on the environment as driving a car for a kilometre.
• There's enough oil used in the production process of water bottles in the UK to keep 17,000 cars on the road for a year.[1]
• As recycling rates remain dismally low, making bottles requires virgin materials. It takes 162g of oil and seven litres of water (including power plant cooling water) just to manufacture a one-litre bottle, creating over 100g of greenhouse gas emissions (10 balloons full of CO2) per empty bottle. Extrapolate this for the developed world (2.4m tonnes of plastic are used to bottle water each year) and it represents serious oil use for what is essentially a single-use object.

 plastic bottles
 Four Bottles

Impacts of the bottle on your pocket:

• We drink 200 times as much bottled water today as we did [in the 70s] and the market in Britain is worth close to £2 billion.
• Bottled water is just as expensive as petrol.
• Switching from bottled to tap water cuts costs for firms and individuals - drinking the recommended eight glasses a day costs about £500 for mineral water each year, but just £1 from the tap.

Impacts of shipping something heavy when it’s already in your house:

• Bottled water takes a lot of energy: being transported to us and the plastic or glass bottles that often end up in landfill.
• Which? found that half of the population cannot taste the difference between the tap and bottled water.[2]
• Bob Geldof said: "Bottled water is bollocks. It is the great irony of the 21st century that the most basic things in the supermarket, such as water and bread, are among the most expensive. Getting water from the other side of the world and transporting it to sell here is ridiculous. It is all to do with lifestyle."
• Dr Michael Warhurst, Friends of the Earth's senior waste campaigner, said: "It is another product we do not need. Bottled water companies are wasting resources and exacerbating climate change.
• "Transport is the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions, and transporting water adds to that. We could help reduce these damaging effects if we all simply drank water straight from the tap."
• According to the EPI report, tap water is delivered through an "energy-efficient infrastructure", whereas bottled water is often shipped halfway across the world, burning huge amounts of fossil fuels and accelerating global warming.[3]


Impacts of bottle waste:

• Which? said that for every litre of water purified and bottled, seven were wasted.[4]
• Britons consume 3bn litres of bottled water a year. Most bottled water is siphoned into PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles; of 13bn plastic bottles sold in the UK last year, just 3bn were recycled.
• That’s 10bn Bottles in landfill.
• Each plastic bottle takes up to 1,000 years to biodegrade.[5]



Any other impacts you didn't know about:

• 'We've now tracked plastics particles smaller than a human hair, to 20 microns,' says Dr Richard Thompson, a marine scientist from Plymouth University, 'and we've found nine different polymers, consistent with water bottles, all over the UK and further afield as well.' It would appear the impact of bottled water runs far deeper than abstract litter.
• Phil Woolas, environment minister, claimed that bottled water was "morally unacceptable" not only because of it’s myriad environmental impacts – but because of the discomforting fact that while we have perfectly good tap water we spend approaching £2 billion on bottled water when a billion people around the world don't have safe water.[6]
• According to the Earth Policy Institute it would take less than a third of the annual amount spent by consumers on bottled water ($100 billion) to achieve the UN's Millennium Development Goal of halving the number of people without access to safe drinking water by 2015.[7]
• One of the places we import bottled water from is Fiji. Called Fiji Water, it travels 10,000 miles to be sold in restaurants and upmarket shops. But on the South Pacific island one-third of the population don't have access to safe clean drinking water. We visited villages where bad water had triggered an outbreak of typhoid - 20 people had been infected and one had died. We saw hospitals reporting a constant flow of patients laid low by dodgy drinking water.[8]


1. Bottled Water: Who Needs It?
2. Bristol expert urges people to swap bottled water for tap Friday, July 25, 2008
3. Eau, no: Clean, healthy and pure? Hardly. Bottled water is killing the planet
4. Bristol expert urges people to swap bottled water for tap Friday, July 25, 2008
5. Manchester Evening News, May 30th, 2008
6. Bottled Water: Who Needs It?
7. Why bottled water spells environmental disaster
8. Bottled Water: Who Needs It?