The Problem With Plastic Water Bottles

The Problem With Plastic Water Bottles

Disposable water bottles should not be a growing industry.

My friends and I recently walked into a restaurant and upon settling in, the waiter asked us, “May I interest you in some Voss filtered water?” He was holding a clear cylinder-shaped bottle of what looked to have the same flavor and benefits as normal water, and it was five dollars extra. “No thanks,” I answered. “Tap is fine.” But I was confused. Do people really prefer this funky-looking, expensive bottle of water to the ice water that is free? And why do people gravitate toward water bottles instead of water from a sink? In a world where there is so much press about the terrible effects of plastic water bottles, why is this still a huge industry? I was determined to find out.

There are really only three reasons why people drink bottled water: convenience, preference, and necessity.

Bottles of water are available at nearly every grocery store, gas station, and airport. They can be purchased in bulk or individually. They come in all shapes and sizes. Put simply, purchasing a bottle of water is easy; it’s much easier than hunting down a water fountain to fill up a reusable water bottle. Water bottles are the perfect on-the-go beverage. So many water bottles are handed out to kids after sports games and purchased by outdoor crowds in the heat of the summer. According to government and industry research, a fourth of bottled water is just tap water, and some of that isn’t even purified further. That’s right. Much of the bottled water that companies advertise as being purified and better-than-tap water is actually just tap water. People are paying as much as several dollars a bottle for the same water they could get from their kitchen sink for only fractions of a penny.

Many people prefer bottled water to tap water or soda. Tap water may taste different depending on which water source it comes from, making it more likely for a person to drink bottled water. In fact, only 1% of tap water is used for human consumption, and the rest is used for showers, cleaning, and cooking. While much bottled water is just packaged tap water, there is a perception that it is cleaner or more purified than tap water, and many people like this idea. Others drink water because of the negative effects that drinking soda and other sugary drinks bring. Sugar-filled beverages dehydrate a person more quickly than water, have way more calories compared to the zero calories in water, and are terrible for a person’s overall health, including increases in obesity rates and tooth decay. Grabbing a water bottle seems like a healthier choice for several reasons.

Water bottles are used in lots of places in which tap water is not an option. This includes natural disasters like earthquakes, crises like the water contamination in Flint, Michigan, and in third-world countries where there are no water systems. Nestlé Waters North America, a the number one water bottle company worldwide, donated one million dollars in bottled water products to Haiti earthquake relief in 2010—this ended up totaling to three million bottles of water. Recently, in Flint, Michigan, the city’s water supply has been contaminated with toxic amounts of lead and iron. Unable to drink the tap water, citizens of Flint are forced to drink bottled water. Organizations throughout the United States have donated thousands of water bottles to the city. There are so many water bottles in Flint, Michigan, that they are now not only facing a problem with the tap water, but with an overabundance of empty plastic water bottles to recycle. In poverty-stricken countries, there is no access to any clean water. Quite a few organizations are working towards providing clean water access to these people through wells and purifiers, but the temporary solution is bottled water.

The water bottle industry is huge, and it is a relatively new industry. Water bottles are convenient, and many people think the water tastes better than tap water, even if it is often the same product. Bottled water was technically invented in 1767 in Boston, but it did not get big until about 200 years later in 1977 when bottled water company Perrier launched a five million dollar marketing campaign for its water. From there, bottled water sales skyrocketed. Plastic water bottle sales continue to grow each year despite how wasteful they are. Yes, they can be recycled, but out of the 50 million water bottles that Americans consume each year, it is estimated that only one out of five are recycled. This causes the water bottles to sit in the landfills, and they take over 1,000 years to biodegrade. Annually, thousands of animals are killed because of becoming entangled with or ingesting plastic, including water bottles. There are so many statistics and just one conclusion: although disposable plastic water bottles are easy to obtain and consume, reusable water bottles filled with tap water are equally as beneficial health-wise and are much more beneficial to the earth.

Cover Image Credit: Home Designs Inspiration

Popular Right Now

It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.

Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.

Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

The Crimes And Misdemeanors Of A Sitting President

Whether you agree with Nancy Pelosi, regarding impeachment or not, the question each American should ask is: Can this nation survive any more division?


Whether you agree with Nancy Pelosi, regarding impeachment or not, the question each American should ask is; can this nation survive any more division? Is Nancy correct in her comment, "He's just not worth it?" Impeachment should not be used as a political tool to remove an unwanted government official out of office. Its purpose is to bring charges against a government official and once the official is impeached then the legislative body can impose judgment which could ultimately remove the official from office.

Moreover, in the past, this country has impeached two sitting presidents and neither ended with his removal. According to, the definition of impeaching is "(a) to charge with a crime or misdemeanor, specifically: to charge a public official before a competent tribunal with misconduct in office. (b) to remove from office especially for misconduct, and (c) to bring an accusation against."

So how many cases of impeachment has the United States experienced with sitting presidents? According to, eight U.S. presidents have faced impeachment, but with very different results. John Tyler was the first president to face impeachment proceedings in 1843. Representative John Botts of Virginia filed claimed Tyler conduct of the U.S. Treasury although the House of Representatives voted Botts' claim down.

Andrew Johnson was the second sitting president to have impeachment proceedings filed against him. In 1868 President Johnson dismissed Secretary of War Edwin Stanton and according to Congress, the president violated the Tenure of Office Act. Even though Johnson was impeached the Senate would not confirm his removal from office and he finished his term.

With the exception of Grover Cleveland, the twentieth century gave way for many calls for impeachment beginning with Herbert Hoover, Harry Truman, Ronald Reagan, and ending with George H.W. Bush. None of these presidents were subjected to the process as the claims never had the votes to call for a hearing on the committees.

There were three articles of impeachment against Richard Nixon, however, he resigned in 1974 before any of the proceedings could take place. In 1998 Bill Clinton was impeached over allegations of perjury and obstruction of justice relating to the Monica Lewinsky case. In Clinton's case, the Senate acquitted, and he finished his term in office just like Andrew Johnson.

President Trump is under scrutiny for some of the very reason's other presidents have had impeachment proceedings. He has proven to most American's that he is a danger to our democracy. Trump has snubbed his nose at the foreign emolument clause, creating an open way for foreign powers to pressure our president to stray from his constitutional obligation to the United States. The firing of the FBI Director James Comey and fulling admitting on national television to Lester Holt that he did because of "this Russia thing." This is "obstruction of justice," and other presidents have been charged with this article of impeachment. However, Nixon resigned, and Clinton was acquitted.

So why is he not worth it? First the truth, he won the election. Unless there is proven evidence that he colluded with the Russians to rig the 2016 presidential election reversing this fact will drive this new faction of voters back to the polls to elect another under-qualified candidate. In addition, the Republican Party will use the impeachment as a platform in the upcoming election. Citing the Democrats stole the White House from them.

Second, is the nation ready for even one year of Mike Pence as president? His record as Governor of Indiana is the only evidence needed. He banned Syrian refugees, he reinstated mandatory minimum sentences and authored a bill to defund Planned Parenthood. He doesn't take to Twitter, has the political knowledge, and is waiting his turn to strike like an incurable virus.

Third and even more disturbing is the Republican Party and their efforts to gloss over his crimes and misdemeanors and cite the economy, and jobs. Many won't vote against Trump because of his base; cannot afford to have to explain their decisions to his base voters in 2020. Most fear they will have to go through a primary. Even though if they removed Trump and put Pence in his place they could have during their two-year reign and most American's civil liberties would be a thing of the past.

The voters gave their voice in 2018 and Congress is working, unlike the previous Congress. They have a lot of work to do and spinning their wheels debating the crimes and misdemeanors of the sitting president is counter-productive. History will repeat itself and he will be acquitted.

Related Content

Facebook Comments