The facts about bottled water usage and waste are staggering. In 2006, Americans drank an average of 167 bottles of water each for a total of 50 billion bottles or $15 billion spent. Of that total, only 23% was recycled. Roughly 38 billion disposable plastic water bottles end up in U.S. landfills each year – 100 million every day! That’s enough, laid end to end, to reach China and back each day.
It’s not just that they are filling up our landfills – it’s also the waste of resources. The amount of oil we use to produce water bottles, 17 million barrels, could fuel over 1,000,000 cars for an entire year. Picture a disposable water bottle 1/4 full with petroleum. That is how much oil it takes to make and distribute a single plastic bottle of water. One bottle also requires at least three bottles of water to make and distribute and generates about 120 grams of greenhouse gases – enough to fill 12 balloons.