Plastic Bottle for a Plastic Bottle

October 9, 2007 at 2:58 pm 2 comments

Buying bottled water is one of the most blatant eco-atrocities in which Americans democratically participate, but according to Advertising Age our collective conscience is starting to kick in, and bottled water is on its way out.

The bottled water industry  is worth about $16 billion, and most of the market is in the hands of Nestle, Coke and Pepsi, who are currently shaking in their boots over the prospect of losing this delicious and lucrative plastic pie. They’ve already responded to consumers’ bottle woes by making their bottles thinner and lighter – presumably to cut back on the amount of plastic that ends up in land fills after we’ve finished drinking our 38 billionth bottle at the end of the year. Coke has pledged $60 billion to build recycling plants, but that doesn’t do much to address the reality that most Americans don’t recycle their plastic waste. There’s also a rumor that these beverage giants will turn to biodegradable, paper-based bottles to distribute their water in, banking on the assumption that Americans don’t realize that nothing really biodegrades in landfills anyways.

Let’s stop for a moment to visualize what we’re talking about here:
bottles.jpg
38 BILLION PLASTIC BOTTLES A YEAR (thanks, Chris Jordan, for the photo).

Luckily, we don’t actually have to buy and drink bottled water. In fact, there’s such an abundance of so-cheap-it’s-practically-free water in the US, that it flows like… water. And there are lots of water filters to turn to in case your tap water isn’t as delicious as mine is here in Brooklyn.

But what if we get thirsty on the go? You’re welcome to join me and many others and trade in your plastic bottle for a better plastic bottle. I admit, carrying around a Nalgene bottle may put you at risk of being mistaken for a hippy, but you might also get a date out of it (green is the new sexy).

My bottle looks like this:
nalgene.jpg
It’s made of polycarbonate plastic, which stinks like toxins when you first buy it, but after rinsing it and airing it out a few times (I would give it a day or so), it’s virtually odorless. You can also get a Sigg bottle, which is pricier, but made of a non-toxic metal that is probably less carcinogenic than the Nalgene option.

Regardless of which bottle you choose, or whether you get one at all, it’s really nice to know that Americans are looking at their beverage containers and feeling a twinge of guilt.

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Entry filed under: conservation.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. gwen  |  October 16, 2007 at 8:41 pm

    NOTE:

    Those plastic re-usable bottles are known to put off a toxin called bisphenol-A (BPA) that is a potential carcinogen and can cause birth defects. If you’re a woman who’s pregnant or thinking about having a baby, you should definately avoid these bottles and instead use a stainless steel model.

    Reply
  • 2. gwen  |  October 16, 2007 at 8:41 pm

    Oh, and here’s a good overview of the toxic plastic issue:
    http://www.seventhgeneration.com/making_difference/newsletter_article.php?article=254&issue=62

    Reply

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