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OpinionEnvironment

Why You Should Probably Never Drink Bottled Water Again

Konstantin Stepanov/Flickr

The bottled water industry is about as wasteful as they come. This billion dollar industry is taking something that is essentially free around the world, packaging it, and selling it for profit. And it gets worse.

Nestlé — the same company that brings you those delicious Toll House cookies — decided in May to open a new plant in the middle of the drought-stricken desert in Arizona.  

This decision has raised many concerns and questions, the most obvious being “how can they bottle water in a desert?”

Many of the concerned groups are environmental activists. Nestle already faces backlash from groups angry about them bottling water in the San Bernardino Mountains, and a group in Oregon voted in favor of anti-bottling measures on a proposed anti-bottling measures.

Additionally, a petition was started on Change.org calling Nestlé Waters “irresponsible and unsustainable,” pointing out that Arizona has officially been in a drought for 17 years.

City officials concluded that there will be enough water for both Pure Life and the city’s tap, but environmentalists (and Global Citizens) aren’t convinced.

The bottled water industry is bad for the environment. Nearly 80 percent of plastic water bottles simply become litter in a landfill, creating 2 million tons of plastic bottle waste every year. Here are 10 things you might not know about the bottled water industry.


  1. The first case of bottled water sold dates back to Boston, Massachusetts, in the 1760s. Mineral water was bottled and sold by a spa for therapeutic uses.

  2. For the first time ever, bottled water sales are going to surpass the sale of soda in the US.

  3. Global consumption of bottled water increases by 10 percent every year. The slowest growth is in Europe, while the fastest growth is in North America.

  4. The energy we waste bottling water would be enough to power 190,000 homes.

  5. Food & Water Watch reported that more than half of bottled water comes from the tap.

    A photo posted by D. B. Vázquez (@vnime) on

  6. Bottled water is no safer than tap water. In fact, 22 percent of bottled brands tested contained chemicals at levels above state health limits in at least one sample.

  7. It takes three times more water to produce a plastic water bottle than it does to fill one.

  8. The amount of oil used to make a year's worth of bottles could fill one million cars for a year.

  9. Only one in five plastic bottles are recycled.

  10. The bottled water industry made $13 billion in 2014, but it would only cost $10 billion to provide clean water to everyone in the world.