Just how thirsty are you? The bottled water boom

From the creation of the plastic bottle itself to the transportation of the finished product to stores, offices and homes, bottled water has a significant and well documented impact on our environment.

In Europe, as in the rest of the world, the consumption of bottled water has increased dramatically. On average, we Europeans drink 110 litres every year. If the trend continues, Europeans will drink 164 litres every year by 2050. Water is good, but bottled water has a number consequences you need to know about.

1. The plastic
The plastic bottles are not biodegradable, and only 3% of water plastic bottles get recycled into new bottles.

2. The pollution 
Bottled water has a significant CO2 footprint from both manufacturing and shipping around the world.

3. The cost 
1 litre of bottled water can cost you up to 10,000 times as much as 1 litre of tap water.

4. The water
As it turns out, it takes 1.39 litres of water to produce 1 litres of bottled water. It is expected that 3.4 trillion litres of water is required to sustain bottled water drinking habits of Europeans until year 2050.

Bottled water: The dry facts 

1.19% | Annual growth in per capita consumption of bottled water in EU-28

109,90 | Per capita consumption 2016 in the EU-28

164,31 | Per capita consumption 2050 in the EU-28

527,028,288 | Population in the EU-28 in 2050

82,8 gram | CO2 emissions per 500 ml bottle

Sources: International Bottled Water Association, Eurostat, Statista, Elua, ReliefWeb

That is as much water as fulfilling the annual basic water needs for those 160 million people in the world who are infected by parasitic disease – due to lack of clean water.

If Europeans stopped drinking bottled water we would also save 408m tonnes CO2 emissions. That’s the same as the total annual emissions coming from 15 EU countries combined.

The question is: How thirsty are you?

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