Bottled water is under fire on both sides of the pond this week! On fears that consumption is radically damaging the environment, Londoners and New Yorkers are now being strongly urged to boycott bottled water altogether.
According to environmental groups, let alone that production and distribution are significantly contributing to global warming gases, four out of five plastic water bottles end up in landfill sites.
The Bottled Water Information Office has issued the following statement:
"Bottled waters strictly conform to the very highest standards in hygiene, provenance and sustainability. They also offer the ultimate in traceability, health, convenience and choice, as well as providing reassurance that they come from fully sustainable sources.
Abstractions of water for bottling and drinking are permitted only within strict and sustainable limits and the bottled water industry constantly makes every effort to lead the way in efforts to reduce the weight of packaging and improve the efficiency of both machinery and transport.
The very foundation of the industry is the protection of a precious natural resource and its use in a sustainable manner, and that ethos is applied in every aspect of the work of the industry.
Bottled water is most commonly packaged in either plastic (PET) or glass, which is totally safe and conforms to strict regulations on health and safety. By far the majority of bottled water (93%) comes in plastic bottles which is totally recyclable. Bottles also carry messages urging the purchaser to recycle after use. The rest (around 7%) comes in glass bottles, which can also be placed for recycling.
Indeed, the rate at which we recycle is increasing every year. Some 360 million plastic bottles were recycled in 2002, whereas in 2004 a massive 727 million (35,350 tonnes) of plastic bottles were recycled which saved approximately 37 million kWh of energy (Source: RECOUP). Meanwhile, the industry continues to make inroads into packaging technology and some producers have started experimenting with biodegradable forms of plastic."