Plastic Water Bottle Pollution

Updated: Feb 12


Photo by Ishan @seefromthesky on Unsplash

Plastic water bottles may be convenient, but they are destroying our planet. In this article, we will address facts about plastic water bottles, plastic water bottle pollution, bottled water facts, ways to reduce plastic water bottles and solutions to the plastic problem.


Facts About Plastic Bottles And Bottled Water

1. It has been estimated that by the year 2050, our oceans will contain more plastic by weight than fish.


2. 80% of ocean waste pollution originates from land sources. The pollution gets into storm drains and waterways that then lead to the ocean.


3. It has been estimated that by the year 2050, there will be 12 billion metric tons of plastic in landfills.


4. It has been reported that those who eat seafood ingest up to 11,000 small pieces of plastic per year.


5. It takes approximately 400 years for a bottle made out of PET to decompose.


6. In 1996, 3.8 billion plastic water bottles were sold worldwide, By 2014, 57.3 billion plastic water bottles were sold worldwide.


7. In order to manufacture a plastic water bottle, 6 times as much water goes into producing a single bottle than is used to fill the container with water at the end of the manufacturing process.


8. Plastic water bottles make up 14% of all litter. But, if you consider the caps and labels from the bottles, this number increases.


9. Plastic may be cheap to manufacture, but they come at a high price for our planet. Because plastic water bottles are easily replaceable with reusable bottles, there is no excuse for our continued support of the plastic water bottle industry.


10. Worldwide, 20 million plastic water bottles are used every day.


11. Every year, the United States throws away 38 billion plastic water bottles.


12. It takes 8.5 ounces of oil to make a 1 liter plastic bottle of water.


13. Every year, 63 billion gallons of oil is used for plastic water bottle manufacturing.


14. On average, plastics, including plastic water bottles, are used for only 12 minutes.


15. Worldwide, it has been reported that people purchase one million plastic bottles per minute.


16. The plastics industry reports that it takes approximately 3.4 megajoules of energy to make a 1 liter plastic water bottle. More than 106 billion megajoules of energy is required to make enough plastic to bottle 31.2 billion liters of water.

What Are Plastic Water Bottles Made From

Plastic Water Bottle Pollution

Plastic is made by using oil, chemical ingredients, and synthetic polymers. Plastic bottles are usually made from polyethylene terephthalate, otherwise known as PET. Most of the chemicals used in plastics have been shown to mimic estrogen in our bodies. For example, when BPA or phthalate leeches from the plastic water bottle, it enters our bodies.


Over time, chemicals used to make plastics break down. These toxins are then ingested by fish which in turn may be ingested by humans. These toxins have been linked to causing cancer, autoimmune diseases, cognitive problems, endocrine disruptors and infertility.


PET plastics are recyclable. But, as the amount of PET plastics soars, efforts to collect and recycle them are not able to keep therefore large quantities end up in landfills and in our oceans.



Solutions to the Problems with Plastics


The number one way to help reduce plastic water bottle pollution is to reduce the number of water bottles you use. Make a commitment to yourself and for our planet by refusing to purchase single use plastic bottles. Purchase reusable bottles and carry them with you. If you must purchase a single use plastic bottle, make sure to recycle it. Less than half of plastic bottles purchased in 2016 were actually recycled.


Learn More About The Problems With Plastic Water Bottles And Plastic Water Bottle Facts:

Here is a great resource to learn more about plastic water bottle facts, plastic water bottle pollution and how you can help. Download a free toolkit and report on plastics.

A Forbes article discussing the problems with plastic, facts about plastic bottles, effects of plastic pollution, and plastic pollution solutions.


A Guardian article addressing the problems with plastic, plastic pollution, plastic pollution solutions.


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