Half a billion
bottles a year on L.I. is just too much.
Neighborhood Network is asking Long Island consumers to think
twice before they buy a bottle of water. America is the
worlds number one consumer of bottled water, buying about
1 billion bottles per week. (FastCompany
Magazine) At that rate, Long Islanders buy about 500 million
(half a billion) bottles each year. The U.S.
bottled water market increased from 5.2 billion gallons and $6.88
billion in 2001 to 8.3 billion gallons and $10.98 billion in 2006,
an increase of almost 60%. (International
Bottled Water Association) Americans are spending an increasing
amount of money, and using an increasing amount of energy transporting
bottled water. Bottled water and tap water are generally comparable
in quality, although municipal water is much cheaper and is delivered
utilizing much less energy than is the case with bottled water.
There are detrimental environmental impacts at every stage of
the life of a bottle of water, from manufacturing the plastic
bottles, to pumping and bottling the water, to shipping it to
consumers, to eventual disposing of the bottles, and sales of
bottled water are increasing at nearly 10% a year.
education campaign being launched by the Neighborhood
Network to encourage reduced use of bottle water is very
similar to many organizations Nationwide who share concerns about
the environmental impacts of Amercans' growing taste for bottled
Sept 12 news article
Kick the Bottled Water Habit: Drink “Long Island’s Buried Treasure” Right From Your Tap
Twice About Bottled Water
water is a healthy alternative to soft drinks, and should be encouraged.
However, Long Island consumers should think twice before purchasing
bottled water for use in the home, office or on the road. There
are healthy, convenient, economical, and environmentally friendly
alternatives to bottled water. Long Island has high-quality, regularly
tested, municipal tap water, that meets more stringent standards
than bottled water, and costs a fraction of what bottled water
does. Over a $1 billion of taxpayer dollars have been spent protecting
open space to help secure the future quality and quantity of our
Network has called on all levels of government on Long
Island to lead by example on this issue, by banning the purchase
of bottled water with tax dollars, and removing bottled water
from vending machines in government offices. The purchase of bottled
water by Long Island counties and towns is wasteful of tax payer
dollars, as well as energy and other natural resources, and it
sends the wrong message to residents about the quality of Long
Island's drinking water.
of municipalities around the country are considering, or have
already taken, steps to reduce or eliminate bottled water in government
offices or at government funded public events.
the PET plastic bottles for American bottled water consumption
required the equivalent of more than 17 million barrels of oil
(not including the energy for transportation). (Pacific
When the energy used to fill water bottles at the bottling plant,
transport them, cool them in stores and home refrigerators,
and recover, recycle or dispose of the empty bottles is considered,
each bottle uses an amount of energy equivalent to filling the
bottle a quarter of the way with oil (Pacific
Institute), or almost 49 million barrels of oil a year.
- Twice as much water
is used in the production of a bottle of water than the bottle
contains, so each bottle of water represents three bottles used.
- Bottled water costs
1,000 times more than tap water supplied by the Suffolk
County Water Authority and other municipal water suppliers
on Long Island
- On Long Island,
billion has been spent by county, state and local governments
over the past 50 years to buy and preserve 60,000 acres of farmland
and open space. Most of this money has been spent with a stated
goal of protecting the quality of Long Islands drinking
- In 2004, 86.5% of
PET bottles containing non-carbonated beverages were discarded
rather than recycled. (Container Recycling Institute [download
pdf] citing American Plastics Council statistics.) Water
bottles account for almost half of all non-carbonated beverage
sold. These bottles wind up in landfills, incinerators, or littering
roads, streams and parks.
- New York State water
for tap water are higher than those for bottled water sold
in NY. Much of the bottled water sold in the United States (e.g.
Dasani and Aquafina) is simply filtered or otherwise treated
water from municipal water systems.
to Bottled Water
Long Island has been
blessed with an abundant supply of high quality water in our aquifer
system. In most areas no filtration is necessary to meet New York
State's drinking water standards. Bottled water meets no higher
quality standards than tap water, and the two best selling brands
Aquafina and Dasani are simply municipal tap water that has been
In blind taste tests
using identical glasses and temperatures, bottled waters score
no higher than tap water. Often the complaints about the taste
of tap water are the result of residual chlorine taste. Simply
leaving a pitcher of water in your refrigerator for an hour or
two will allow the small amount of chlorine to escape.
filters are also an option for removing unpleasant tastes and
contaminants from tap water. There are many options: pitcher filters,
counter-top, in refrigerator water dispensers, under-sink, and
whole house filters that treat water at the point of entry to
the home. For offices, bottle-less water coolers are available
that provide filtered water without the cost of water delivery
or the inconvenience of storing large water bottles. (Click
here for more information about water filters.)
carrying water with you, there are many choices, from travel mugs
to reusable hard plastic plastic, glass and stainless steel bottles.
Be sure to clean reusable bottles regularly and thoroughly to
avoid bacterial contamination. There are some concerns that some
plastics can leach hazardous chemicals such as Bisphenol A under
cartain conditions. (For more information on the potential of
plastics to leach harmful chemicals into food, you can download
a fact-sheet from our page on non-toxic
living) Stainless steel is light-weight, unbreakable, and
chemically inert, making it a very attractive option.
Which water delivery makes