Menace of plastic bottle water

Environmental campaigner Hemantha Withanage says the purchase of plastic-bottled water should be discouraged.

The chair of Friends of the Earth International tells the BBC that “Damage from plastics is irreversible, especially “Once fragmented into microplastics, it pollutes all of the ecosystem including the oceans and the air we breathe, with no way to recover them.”

The bottled water industry raises strong emotions from its opponents, who like Withanage point to the environmental impact of all the waste plastic.

Eeports say with only 2.3% of bottled water coming in glass bottles, there is a lot of plastic.

In the US alone, 50 billion plastic water bottles are purchased every year, according to one report. The study adds that only 9% of plastic bottles sold globally are currently recycled.

The industry counters that today’s bottles, made from polyethylene terephthalate (PET), are 100% recyclable. 

And increasingly they are made from already recycled PET in the first place while others point to bottled water being healthier than sugary soft drinks. And then there were the recent scandals about contaminated tap water in the US.

What is certain is that the global bottled water sector continues to boom. The industry is expected to enjoy revenues of $324.4bn (£266bn) this year. And that number is tipped to jump to $419.9bn by 2029.

This growth is being led by sparkling water, sales of which are more than doubling.

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