11.15.12 | Transblog
The antagonizing build of the water bottle comes from its shape; its ability to be held by an average human hand, for it is designed that way. The water bottle must, at least for the most people, enable its user to hold it with a single hand, which is why its geometric median zone is thinner than the rest. Its peculiarity / efficiency of design seems like an imposition to me. An imposition of drinking water – which is a natural need – in order to act in a commercial cycle which I have not chosen to take part in. It is generally made of a derivative compound which we call ‘plastic’. It is made of plastic for the creation of such compound is cheaper than most, lightweight, easy to shape and produce. It comes in a fancy packaging with labels claiming that it is pure and clean while supporting by images that illustrate these claims. Usually a picture of a spring pool or alpine mountains invoking a feeling that it is the healthier option. And we buy it. Today millions of people consume bottled water with an assumption that it is cleaner than tap water. Unfortunately numbers are scary. There are about 1500 plastic water bottles consumed in US per second which add up to around 50 billion bottles per year. 200 billion are consumed worldwide. In my opinion these numbers are indicators how ignorant we all have become and how we are taken for granted by systems we are part of and how we take things for granted.
Do we know what plastic really is? How is it harmful or why are we apt to perceive it as a health threat? it causes lots of issues from damaging the environment and the human health to the corporatization of water.
According to the National Resources Defense Council, as much as 40 percent of bottled water is from tap.There is no scientific data to supports the cleanliness of bottled water is cleaner over your regular tap water. In fact, bottled water is less regulated than tap water. The Environmental Protection Agency requires utility companies to test municipal water hundreds of times per month, whereas the Food and Drug Administration requires bottling companies to test their supply only once per week.
Health issues caused by plastic bottles is an important issue and is not addressed as often as it should be. There is always a reason for it. The less you know about something, the more inclined you are to believe what other people say. In this case bottle companies. However research shows plastic bottles leach when exposed to sunlight and heat. Water contained in these bottles has Bisphenol A(BPA) is a synthetic chemical which disrupts the body’s hormonal messaging system. This may cause damage in the reproductive systems and the developing systems of children. Moreover, bottled water is only for temporary use. When water remains in the plastic container for more than 2 weeks, it dissolves the toxic materials in the bottle, causing damage to the cell structure. When you add the uncertainty of its long term effects, the picture becomes scarier. A lot of health issues connected to bottled water is directly related to the environmental damage it causes as well.
Even though the vast majority of plastic bottles are recyclable, only a small percentage actually are. The rest goes to landfills and as a result, annually 2.7 tons of plastic waste is created worldwide. Plastics cannot be recycled into the same type plastic. it is down cycled and turned into other things. This means a plastic bottle can never be a plastic bottle again. it takes at least 1000 years before the bottle starts naturally decomposing. Also these bottles cannot be incinerated because of the toxic material and gas would be released into the atmosphere. We have an incredible amount of plastic bottles in ocean garbage patches. This threatens marine life catastrophically, killing fish and birds disrupting the food chain, thus effecting the ecosystem and us.
However plastic bottle packaging waste is not the only issue associated with environmental damage. More goes into producing and transporting them. Around 47 million barrels of oil is used to produce bottles every year in the world; enough to fuel 4 million cars for a year, and if the amount spent is tripled, the worlds real water crisis could be solved. Although 94 percent of the bottled water sold in the U.S. is produced domestically, many Americans import water other faraway places to satisfy demand for exotic bottled water while burning massive quantities of fossil fuels. This contributes to global warming effect that our planet is facing and effecting our water resource directly. A perfect catch-22 situation is designed that creates more reasons to buy bottled water.
Private companies profit more than $100 billion per year from this global industry of water and the industry grew drastically over the past decades particularly in North America and Europe. It is very strange that the most developed countries in the world which happen to have access to the cleanest water on their tap compared to the developing countries, are the ones that purchase the highest amounts of bottled water in the world. How did the these companies manage this? They created a manufactured demand by creating a pure fantasy so people would buy their product. The corporatization of water leads to many global and social issues. The companies extract water from local sources for a small amount of money sell it for a higher price leaving less developed countries with inadequate resources and causing water depletion in certain areas and communities. We buy it so we are provided with a healthier option whereas we poison ourselves day by day. We are kind a like the lobster in the pot. Ironic isn’t it?