Enviro Monday: Do you really need to drink bought water in a plastic bottle?

In South Africa tap water is safe to drink in most places. Every day millions of people purchase bottled water. Most of them have little idea or regard for the vast consequences of the production of that water, the bottle it’s in, and the incredibly harmful environmental impact the whole process generates.

More than 50 billion plastic water bottles are bought each year, with 80 percent of them ending up in a landfill or the ocean, despite extensive recycling efforts.

Five reasons to avoid bottled water where possible

  • Bottled water production consumes huge amounts of energy and petroleum products
  • It takes more water than it provides
  • Bottled water is neither cleaner nor healthier than tap water
  • PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles may leech toxic chemicals into your water
  • Plastic bottles break down with harmful ecological impact

Alternatives to drinking bottled water

  • In South Africa it is mostly safe to drink tap water
  • Buy a home water filtration system for your tap
  • Harvest rain water
  • Use glass or stainless steel water bottles

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

The Great Pacific garbage patch, also described as the Pacific trash vortex, is a gyre of marine debris particles in the central North Pacific Ocean.

The patch is characterised by exceptionally high relative concentrations of pelagic plastics, chemical sludge and other debris that have been trapped by the currents of the North Pacific Ocean.

Watch: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch or Trash Vortex explained



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