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The Global Influence of plastic water bottles
Transcript of The Global Influence of plastic water bottles
Roughly 38 billion water bottles are produced each year.
The United States' bottled water consumption has doubled within the last decade to over 30 gallons per person yearly.
This means that each person in the U.S. consumes an average of 233 bottles of water per year.
50 million barrels of oil
Number of water bottles
Per-Capita Bottled Water Consumption
A large majority of bottled water sold in the United States is packaged in polyethylene terephthalate (PET) containers.
The manufacturing of PET resin produces several toxic emissions including methyl chloride, ethylbenzene, benzene, and toluene.
Most of these chemicals are carcinogens, while toluene is a reproductive toxicant.
Ethylene glycol, which is used during the production of PET, is a known kidney toxin.
BPA is a chemical used during the production of larger water bottles.
Animal studies have shown that high exposure to BPA can have a prolonged effect on the development of fetuses.
The Disadvantages of high energy production
Approximately 90% of the United States' energy production comes from the burning of fossil fuels.
The burning of these fuels produces carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and particulates.
High concentrations of these pollutants have been linked to an increase in asthma cases.
A correlation has been found between pollutant levels and illness.
Energy of production
The energy required to produce the world's supply of water bottles is equivalent to the energy stored in 50 million barrels of oil.
To produce the same amount of tap water in these bottles, 2,000 times less energy is required.
The transportation of bottled water also requires a substantial amount of energy, with water weighing one metric ton per cubic meter.
Enough to power how many car for a year?
4.9 billion dollars
Each individual 20.3-gram bottle generates 96 g of greenhouse gases.
This measurement does not include the amount of greenhouse gases produced during filling, labeling, sealing, or transport of plastic bottles.
Greenhouse gases are believed to influence global climate change, which may lead to warmer oceans and higher rates of evaporation in some regions.
Around 2.4 million tons of plastic is discarded every year, into landfills and the environment.
About 20-25 % of solid waste discarded in landfills is plastic products.
PET and other plastics used to produce water bottles are highly resistant to biodegradation, lasting for centuries.
Despite recent regulations making landfills safer, improperly designed or managed landfills can still pose environmental problems.
It is still possible that leachate and other contaminates could leak, causing water contamination and air pollution.
Bottles discarded on beaches and commercial barges have slowly been accumulating in the ocean forming patches of garbage.
One specific collection of garbage known as the Eastern Garbage Patch, is located between the U.S. and Hawaii.
The garbage patches influence marine life both directly and indirectly.
Ingestion of plastic particles leads to the death of many marine animals.
The garbage patches reduce the amount of sunlight that enters the ocean. The reduction in sunlight limits the growth of both algae and plankton.
Both algae and plankton are an important food source, for a variety of marine life.
It is estimated that in 2011, only 29 % of PET bottles were recycled.
Recycling can reduce the buildup of waste and it uses less energy.
When recycling plastics, 88 percent of the energy required to produce new plastic from raw materials is saved.
Recycling is not the perfect solution.
During the recycling process, the plastic bottles are burned releasing hazardous chemicals.
Chlorine and dioxin are two examples of chemical released into the air.
Recycled PET plastics can also become contaminated with PVC during the recycling process, due to their similar specific gravities.
China and India are responsible for a large portion of the worlds plastic recycling.
Plastic water bottles are a major contributor to global pollution, both during their production and after they are shipped. The global impact of plastic water bottles could be managed through a re-evaluation of their use and production.
Quality of tap vs. bottled water
Cost of tap water vs. bottled water
Reusable water bottles
The first step to accomplishing this is to educate the public about the negative effects of plastic production.
In order to most effectively reduce the pollution caused by plastic bottle production, the total number of bottles must be reduced.
Web materials, seminars, and advertisements, funded through donations.
In addition, we propose that monuments be built in highly populated areas to build awareness for plastic pollution.
These monuments could be constructed from recycled plastics that are heat resistant.
Plaques would be installed on the monuments, giving information about the various garbage patches throughout the world and how they influence marine life.
The cost of water only contributes 10% towards the overall cost of the water bottle.
On average, tap water costs are slightly more than $2 per 1,000 gallons.
In, 2012 the average price per gallon of bottled water was 1.13$.
The average price of bottled water is more than 560 times greater than tap water.
In 1974 Congress passed the Safe Drinking Water Act to protect the nation’s public water sources.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is responsible for administering public water safety tests.
With the help of other government agencies, the EPA also enforces public drinking water standards.
The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for the regulation of bottled water.
The standards set by both the FDA and EPA for drinking water are very similar and lead to a similar quality product.
Reusable water bottles can be used to save money and reduce pollution.
To increase the popularity of reusable water bottles, we suggested that more businesses and public places install water filling stations.
This would increase the convenience of using reusable water bottles.
Reusable water bottles cont.
It is also possible that reusable water bottles could be linked to the popularity of growing health trends.
Reusable water bottles could be manufacture with the ability to measure water intake.
This information could then be sent to a user’s smart phone for tracking purposes.
By Amanda Enders, Blake Stish, Chris Hegman, Ken Coiteux, and Shawn Andru
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