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Plastic problem

Petrochemical manufacturing plants, harmful chemicals, never fully biodegradable, BPA. What do all of these have in common? Plastic water bottle pollution and the environmental damage that follows.

It is well documented that plastic water bottles do not degrade. It takes over 450 years – 1,000 years for plastic water bottles to biodegrade! More surprising is that even when the bottles can be recycled, and saved from clogging up landfills, 80% are not recycled, but just thrown away. The largest consumers of bottled water are the United States followed by Mexico, Brazil and China. According to Brita, Americans thrown away 35 billion plastic water bottles every year. Out of site out of mind, right? Wrong. Additionally, over 1.5 million barrels of oil are used to make the bottles. U.S. landfills have an estimated 2 million tons of water bottles that have been thrown away.

Not only is it the bottles themselves causing environmental concerns, but also the petroleum product known as polyethylene terephthalate (PET) that the bottles are made from requiring huge amounts of fossil fuels which result in air pollution. And then the caps of the bottles? A dead water bird was found in California with over 100 water bottle caps in its stomach.

Plastic is made of major toxins and causes destruction to the environment. So, we have water, land, and air pollution just from a single bottle of water. Now multiply that millions of times over.

Regrettably, this is the legacy that we are leaving our children and grandchildren. We are damaging the land, water and air around us. Not to mention the wildlife and sea life that suffers due to our plastic pollution. Fortunately, laws are being considered to help cut the environmental effects. Also, the above mentioned children and grandchildren are coming of age in a new generation of conservation, seeing first-hand the devastating results, and are using their influences to create solutions. Technology might play an important role in the future to at least curb the effects that plastic pollination has on our Earth.

This is not solely one countries problem. As the population continues to grow, so does the problem. The effects can be felt globally in many ways. We all know that plastic bottles are harmful to our environment but we can do our part to raise the awareness to reduce the environmental damage. Some towns have even outlawed plastic bottles altogether, while others are offering rebates on recycling.

With the trend toward a healthy lifestyle, water is obviously a great way to get and stay in shape, however, try reusable bottles. Buy a good BPA-free reusable bottle. There are several stylish options available now. Recycle and reduce. Two common sense ways to help the environment.

One water pitcher of filtered water can replace 300 standard water bottles. Plus, the financial savings. It is estimated that we spend about $1,000 on bottled water each year while the same amount of tap water is less than a dollar.

If we just stop and think about what we are leaving behind and ways that we can help now, the future will be less polluted and more sustainable.

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