The use of plastic today is both prevalent and highly profitable.
In 2000, Americans drank 23 gallons of bottled water (per person) annually.
In 2014, that number significantly increased to 34 gallons per person. That’s 10.7 billion gallons of plastic bottled water in a year.
The Plastic Industry
“The single most important factor in the growth of bottled water is heightened consumer demand for healthier refreshment,” Gary A. Hemphill, managing director for Beverage Marketing Corporation, said recently .
“Convenience of the packaging and aggressive pricing have been contributing factors,” he noted.
And recycling these plastic bottles, which only 31% of people actually do, doesn’t necessarily mean they get turned back into plastic bottles. They usually get turned into textiles, like clothing.
And when synthetic clothing is washed, those microplastics just wind up back in our water.
Many Americans are aware of the amount of waste that comes from plastic bottles and the other negative implications caused by the industry.
But John Stewart of Corporate Accountability International points out the battle that’s ahead when it comes to fighting the system in place.
“Cities are so desperate that they don’t think about long-term implications of job cuts, rate hikes, loss of control over the quality of the water and any kind of accountability when it comes to how the system is managed,” says Stewart.
“We need to turn all eyes to our public water systems and aging infrastructure,” he says, “and our public services in general that are threatened by privatization.”
Access to clean water is, thankfully, something that a majority of Americans have.
We also have the option of better, more sustainable choices.
Steps in the Right Direction
At the 2010 Conference of Mayors, 72 percent of mayors said they have considered “eliminating or reducing bottled water purchases within city facilities,” with several mayors indicating bans already being in place.
Earlier in 2015, San Francisco passed a law that bans the sale of bottled water on city property.
Companies like Klean Kanteen are also doing their part and adding to the conversation by offering more sustainable solutions to consumers.
“At Klean Kanteen, our commitment to you and the planet drives everything we do,” states their website. “From our stainless steel creations to the company we keep, we are firmly fixed on the task of making healthy, high-quality goods that will faithfully replace a lifetime of single-use items. Our hope is that you will go forth and re-use our products for years and even decades to come. One cup, bottle, and container at a time adds up… to big results.”
We’re thrilled to offer Klean Kanteen’s entire line of durable, BPA-free, high quality bottles here at Soap Hope. Here are some of our favorite items!