INTRODUCTION a bottled water. Dr. Michael Warhurst
The video and the related articles discussed the issues, reasons, and impacts of the increasing bottled water usage around the world at length. Bottled water is normally drinking water being packaged into polyethylene terephthalate (PET) or glass bottles. As stated in the global total sales, United States is currently the largest bottled water consumer market (Statista, n.d.). Based on diagram 1, the consumption of bottled water per capita has been increasing rapidly since 2009 and reached its highest consumption approximately 39.3 gallons. Thus, according to diagram 2, U.S. has sold about 12.8 billion gallons in 2016 which is the highest sales volume ever sold.
Diagram 1: Per capita consumption of bottled water in the United States from 1999-2016 in gallons (Statista, n.d.)
Diagram 2: Sales volume of bottled water in the United States from 2010 to 2016 (in billion gallons)
Many people prefer to consume bottled water instead of tap water because they were worried about the bacteria and viruses that may contain in the tap water. Average tap water costs $0.002 whereas bottled water costs around $0.89 to $8.26 (Affects of Plastic Water Bottles, n.d.). They rarely realized that they were actually paying 240 to 10,000 times of the cost of tap water to consume bottled water (Affects of Plastic Water Bottles, n.d.). In U.S., tap water, in fact, is a safer, cleaner, and somehow healthier drinking water as compared to bottled water (Problems With Bottled Water, n.d.). From an economic perspective, people are actually wasting extra money to purchase bottled water when they have absolutely safe tap water. In diagram 3, it stated about the resources that are used to produce a bottled water. Dr. Michael Warhurst once said that bottled water is an unnecessary product because bottled water companies are actually wasting scarce resources to produce it (Neale & Thompson, 2006). For instance, according to diagram 3, it requires two gallons of extra water to produce one gallon of finished bottled water, hence at least one gallon of water will be wasted. Moreover, people are barely aware that 90% of the cost of producing a plastic bottled water comes from making the plastic bottle itself, thus the price of bottled water is relatively pricey (Making a Plastic Water Bottle, 2017). To manufacture a plastic bottled water, it is in fact equivalent to filling up one-quarter of it with oil (Making a Plastic Water Bottle, 2017). Based on a research from Pacific Institute which is located in Oakland, California, they found that the production of the bottle alone has wasted approximately 50 million barrels of oil per year (Whitty, 2009). The number is triple the worldwide use and actually sufficient to fuel 4,000,000 vehicles, and even has extra to ship the bottled waters around (Whitty, 2009; Making a Plastic Water Bottle, 2017). Therefore, this isn’t simply costing the consumer loads of money, but also the plastic industries and government sector for the purpose of producing plastic bottles (Affects of Plastic Water Bottles, n.d.).