Not so long ago most Australians would have laughed at the idea of buying bottled water. With some of the best quality water in the world flowing freely from our taps, why on earth would we need to?
But since the introduction of bottled water in Australia in the 1980s, our thirst for the stuff has been unquenchable. We now spend more than $600 million annually on bottled water, and consume close to one billion single-use disposable plastic bottles every year.
Aside from the expense, (bottled water costs 2000 times more than tap water), our love of packaged water is wreaking havoc on the environment. Half the problem lies in the production of the bottles. For example, did you know that making one plastic bottle requires almost a quarter of its volume in crude oil and that more water is needed to make a bottle than to fill it?
The other half of the story, of course, is what happens to the bottles when we’ve finished with them. Yes, they can be recycled, but the scary fact is that more than half of them aren’t, and they end up in landfill where they can take more than 500 years to break down.
Killing our marine life
One of the most disastrous impacts of throwaway plastic bottles is the harm they cause to marine life. Very often plastic bottles end up in the ocean, where they break down into smaller pieces and are ingested by sea life like fish, turtles and whales who mistake them for food. According to Sea Shepherd, plastic pollution is responsible for the death of a million marine mammals worldwide each year. In Australia, recent research by the CSIRO has found that almost half of all seabirds have plastic in their gut, and by 2050 this is estimated to rise to 95%.
Plastic in the oceans also has implications for human health. Tiny pieces of plastic – or micro plastic – are known to absorb contaminants such as pesticides, creating tiny toxic particles that are eaten by fish, and then by us when we eat seafood.
What can we do?
Eliminating plastic water bottles from your life is something that requires minimal effort, but will have huge pays off for the environment (and will save you money as well). A good quality reusable bottle that you can fill with tap water before you leave home (if you don’t like the taste of tap water use a water filter or purifier) is all you need to ditch plastic water bottles forever.
Here at The Source, we sell a safe, practical and stylish reusable water bottle, made from high-quality BPA-free double insulated 18/8 stainless steel. It keeps liquid fresh and cool for 24 hours or warm for 12 hours and will not leach any toxic chemicals. It comes in three sizes 750ml, 500ml or the 350 ml, which is perfect for the kids or your handbag.
One of the best things about our bottle is that we donate a percentage of all sales to Sea Shepherd to help support the incredible work they do in marine wildlife conservation. So when you buy a water bottle, not only will you be helping to reduce waste, you’ll be helping to protect the health of our marine life and our oceans.