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Bottled water and clean oceans

by Simon Currin 11 Feb 18:55 UTC
Single use plastic water bottle retrieved from the Pacific © Simon Currin

A personal account of plastic pollution caused by water bottled in single use plastic.

My wife and I are currently cruising down-wind of Panama City where many discarded plastic drinking water bottles begin their never ending journey around the Pacific. No doubt they will fetch up on the idyllic shores of French Polynesia at the same time as us.

I was pondering the stupidity of single use plastic when a pos dropped into my newsfeed providing some facts and figures to reinforce my prejudices.

1. Bottled water sold in the US cost $7.50 a gallon which is 2,000 times more expensive than the stuff that comes out of the tap.

2. In developed countries tap water is highly regulated whereas bottled water is not.The City of Cleveland discovered arsenic in some bottled water that was not present in municipal water.

3. Up to one billion bottles of water are sold every week in the US. Claims about superior quality are largely spurious and some sources claim that 45% of bottled water comes from the same source as tap water.

4. In the US, 80% of used bottles go to landfill.

5. We are using a lot of oil to make these bottles and a whole load more to ship them everywhere.

Unlike many developing countries we are hugely privileged to have safe water at the turn of a tap. If you are a cruising sailor and you want to keep your oceans clean and your beaches litter free then please think again before eschewing your tap water in favour of plastic-wrapped marketing hype.

This article has been provided by the courtesy of the Ocean Cruising Club.

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