1 Tahrcountry Musings: Bottled water Guzzles Energy-Think Twice Before You Buy One

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Bottled water Guzzles Energy-Think Twice Before You Buy One

Do you really need that bottle of packaged drinking water? The latest research on bottled water has confirmed what the environmentalists have charged all these years. Weighed against tap water bottled water consumes between 1100 and 2000 times more energy on an average.

Environmental scientist Peter Gleick and Heather Cooley of the Pacific Institute did the study. Details like how much energy goes into making a plastic bottle; processing the water; labeling, filling, and sealing a bottle; transporting it for sale; and cooling the water prior to consumption went in to the research. Manufacturing the bottle and transportation were found the most energy hogging activities.

Startling details have emerged from the study. The global demand for bottle production alone uses 50 million barrels of oil a year. Drinking an imported bottle of water is about two-and-a-half to four times more energy intensive than getting it locally. This often surpasses the energy needed to make the bottle. Bottled water has now surpassed milk and beer in sales.

So think twice before you grab that next bottle. If you are in a position to bring a bottle of water from home do plumb for it.

Details of the research appears in the latest issue of journal Environmental Research Letters.

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