Manufacturing bottled water is harmful to the environment, and the stable demand of customers supports this industry. The destructive impact is evident in the pollution of the atmosphere and ocean, where plastic waste impacts the ecosystem significantly. The plastic waste from bottled water leads to the extinction of more than 1 million marina inhabitants annually (Grostern). According to the estimates, the negative impact of bottled water is almost 3500 times worse than drinking filtered water from the tap and using a sustainable bottle for it (Grostern). This information foregrounds the need to promote more sustainable habits among the population, showing people that the use of plastic bottles leads to adverse outcomes that affect the planet even now. It is possible to hypothesize that producing bottled water has a negative impact on the environment, especially ocean and air pollution.
The manufacturing and selling of bottled water industry are stable because people often prefer it to the water from their tap. For example, the consumption of bottled water in Barcelona increased annually even though there are no problems with water quality from the tap (Grostern). The Institute of Global Health comments that this habit is widespread among the urban population who regard buying bottled water as the convenient solution in the hot climate (Grostern). The fact that the negative impact of bottled water on the environment is 1400 times higher compared to using purified water from tap and glass is not convincing to the majority of the population (Grostern). The peculiar detail is that drinking bottled water is associated with the risk of developing bladder cancer (Grostern). This example illustrates that people prefer bottled water to tap water due to convenience in the urban context, but it is associated with increased health risks and endangers the ecosystem.
The negative impact of bottle manufacturing on the environment is indisputable. According to the estimates, the American industry uses almost 1,5 million barrels of oil annually to produce bottles for water (“Bottled Water is 3,500 Times Worse for the Environment Than Tap Water, Say Scientists”). The supply of bottles to the shops is connected with the higher emissions and use of fossil fuels that are also harmful to the ecosystem (“Bottled Water is 3,500 Times Worse for the Environment Than Tap Water, Say Scientists”). Therefore, manufacturing bottles is associated with the impoverishment of natural resources and significant air pollution. Another example that proves the hypothesis about the destructive impact of bottled water on the ecosystem is the plastic waste caused by this industry. Almost 1.500 species of animals die yearly because they are poisoned by the toxins from plastic and cannot breathe underwater due to the pollution of the ocean with bottles (“Bottled Water is 3,500 Times Worse for the Environment Than Tap Water, Say Scientists”). This example shows that the harmful consequences of bottled water are not always evident to people who buy these products because they do not see the results of their actions.
People are not aware of the fact the ocean water is covered with plastic waste, and they do not measure the pollution level in the air, which makes them live in the illusion that their action does not harm anyone. It is possible to talk about the psychological defense individuals create to protect their consciousness from understanding that they harm the environment and that their actions cause irreversible destruction to the ecosystem. For instance, people appeal to the cases from the news about contamination from tap water, which explains their desire to buy bottled water to protect their health (Cote 1). This idea is not entirely justified by practice because most people who drink water from the tap are not contaminated with harmful bacteria.
Educating people about the negative aspects connected with buying bottled water is an essential step toward change. For instance, advertising persuades individuals that when they want to drink and are outside the home, they are expected to buy a bottle of water. In addition, there is a tendency to buy bottled water to use at home where clean tap water is available because the advertising promotes it as the healthier option (Grostern). These cases support the claim about promoting the sustainable and healthy alternative of using tap water and reusable glasses and bottles. Another example that explains the limited spread of tap water in the urban context is the lack of available places to refill own bottle for free. There is no need to buy bottled water when there is an abundance of fountains for drinking purified water in the city (Grostern). Thus, the examples show that popularizing a more ecological way of consuming water should start with public education and the availability of sustainable options to substitute bottles.
The impact of bottled water on the environment is negative. The harmful effects are connected with ocean and air pollution and lead to the aggravation of health problems among people and the extinction of the species of animals. Nevertheless, many people tend to disregard this information because they believe bottled water is the safer alternative to water from the tap and is more convenient to use. As a result, there is a vital need to change the public attitude toward bottled water to prevent potential harm to the ecosystem.
Cote, S. A., et al. “Walkerton Revisited: How Our Psychological Defenses May Influence Responses to Water Crises.” Ecology and Society, vol. 22, no. 3, 2017, pp. 1-13.
Grostern, Joey. “Environmental Impact of Bottled Water ‘Up to 3,500 Times Greater Than Tap Water’.” The Guardian, 2021.