Say NO! to Plastic Bottled Water

Recently, I came across the Facebook and Twitter accounts of Plastic Free Philippines, the ones who also started the hashtag #AyokoNgPlastic on twitter.  Last July 3, they declared it No to Plastic Bags day.  But I think we shouldn’t stop at plastic bags, we should also extend it to plastic bottles, including those containers that we have our water delivered in.  So here it goes, (If I disappear from the blogosphere, it just means the mafia got to me!  Just kidding!!  …. I hope!) the UP activist in me says NO TO PLASTIC BOTTLED WATER!

Why?

1. For your health.

Read on this more extensively in a previous post I made – There’s Something in The Bottled Water.

  • Studies by the Harvard School of Public Health suggests that those 5-gallon containers leach the toxic BPA into our drinking water.
  • The PET used in mineral water bottles may not leach BPA but the study also suggests they still leach endocrine disruptors like BPA.
  • The Endocrine Society, issued a 34-page report that said there was strong evidence of adverse health effects from endocrine disruptors, including harm to the reproductive system, causing malformations, infertility and cancer.

2. By buying bottled water, you increase your carbon footprint considerably.

The folks at Treehugger did a calculation on how much a of bottle Fiji mineral water actually cost.  Locally, we can just look at basic info on how much drinking bottled water affects our carbon footprint:

  • According to the calculation they made, plastic bottle containers are made with almost 7x the water the bottles contain (water is necessary in the production process).
  • The raw material of plastic is petroleum or natural gas.
  • To transport these bottles from factories to manufacturers’ warehouses to supermarkets, you consume gasoline and pollute the air.
  • And after each bottle is used, the studies in the U.S. show only 15% of the bottles are recycled.

Specific to the 5-gallon bottles that are delivered to your homes and offices:

  • You need to use a considerable amount of water to clean the insides of these containers (I hope they clean them!!)
  • To assure the customers that they are clean, the refilling stations use a plastic seal around the mouth of the container and even wrap each bottle individually with plastic.  (That’s more plastic than necessary!)
  • They use a considerable amount of petroleum for the delivery, sometimes even the unsafe kind as they are delivered by tricycles using a 2T motorcycle engine.
  • When they get to your homes, you use a hot and cold water dispenser which generates more electricity vs. just using your refrigerator.  (And how often do you clean the inside of your water dispenser?  Watch out for this post next week!)

So, once again (at the risk of not being able to blog anymore after this) I say STOP BUYING BOTTLED WATER and having water delivered to your home and do the ff:

1. Invest in your own home water filter.  Everyone knows I sell Aquasana so obviously I would recommend that brand.  But I encourage you to do research and find out what filter is best for your needs.  Remember, the refilling stations and bottled water manufacturers actually use filter systems as well.  They don’t use anything more special.

2. Invest in a glass or stainless steel reusable liquid container.  Bring this around with you and fill it with filtered water from your home.

3. Support Plastic Free Philippines and be a fan of their Facebook page.

Goodbye Blog-o-sphere =)  It was nice knowing you.

©OCMominManila
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21 Responses to Say NO! to Plastic Bottled Water

  1. Pingback: Say NO! to Plastic Bottled Water « O.C. Mom in Manila « Estherlou's Blog

  2. Great post Kris! :) Hay, I hate it every time I forget to bring my thermos, tsk tsk. Carbon footprint. I also remember reading about that bit of info on how much water is actually necessary to produce a plastic bottle of water. Nakakawindang!

  3. Pingback: Water Purifier | The Lazy Mama

  4. Carol says:

    I’ve been used to water purifiers since highschool. I just know that you can save on costs when you use them and easier too. But I never really had a look at the carbon footprint it brings. I linked my post on water purifier for this article.

  5. Mom-Friday says:

    Thanks for this info!
    Good that we rarely buy bottle water, but we do have those 5gal water jugs refilled weekly :(
    I

    • Maybe it’s time to think about a Drinking filter? =) But no pressure! I think the important 1st step is to not buy bottled water from the supermarkets or restaurants and start bringing your own water from home.

  6. Pingback: Can Bottled Water Be Sustainable? « Building Sustainable Lifestyles

  7. Carlos says:

    “Everyone knows I sell Aquasana so obviously I would recommend that brand.”

    You should have stated that up-front. Sira na tuloy credibility ng article because of your vested interest. Besides, I’ve used those filters before. You have to change them every few months or they actually begin to pollute your water source and have a negative effect. Also, while the filters clear out debris and dirt, pathogens, amoeba, and bacteria are not killed by this process. You still have to boil the water for 40 minutes (rolling boil), if you boil your own water, you also use up other non-renewable resources such as electricity or LPG (also delivered by “pollutant motorcycle engines”). In the third world, DIY is a false economy both for our pocketbooks and for mother nature.

    The 5 gallon bottles are certified foodgrade (level 5, I believe). You need a license to import or produce them in the country. The plastic seals are important because I know of at least one child who died after drinking clean, purified water with a dirty cap. If you don’t want an electric water dispenser, go buy a passive one in your nearest Ace hardware. They cost 500 pesos and are very easy to clean with hot water.

    Reduce, re-use, recycle. But the greatest of these is RE-USE. You can reduce your small bottle usage by using the larger 5 gallon bottles and using your own re-fillable containers at home. At least the 5 gallon bottles go back in to circulation after using them (re-use). And you don’t want those 5 gallon bottle recycled anyway, you want them sanitized and reused. Recycling those bottles is much worse for the environment and uses up far more energy and water than sanitizing them. Economies of scale also allow the large-scale water purification systems to use less — and less expensive — filters than you do at home.

    Bottom line is this: if you want to do the best thing for the environment? It’s a hybrid of the two systems. Own your own bottles/containers, clean them yourself regularly, and have them filled at your local water supplier.

    This way gain the following benefits:
    • you bypass the 5 gallon bottles altogether
    • you are sure about the sanitation system
    • you bypass the T2 motorcycle you detest (which is already illegal to sell)
    • you don’t de-oxidize the water by boiling it
    • you don’t use up additional power or natural gas (LPG)
    • you aren’t creating unnecessary garbage out of home water filtration systems.

    Speculative statements such as “I hope they clean them!!” or “By buying bottled water, you increase your carbon footprint considerably” are only half-true, hiding the benefits of the bottled water system. Such statements spread fear, uncertainty, and doubt which don’t benefit the public. Spread accurate, complete information and trust people will do the right thing.

    Tuloy, you end up looking like you just want to push your own filters.

  8. Wow, my first violent reaction commenter! You seem to have a lot of anger pent up about plastic and water. I can get passionate about plastic and water too, but not like you, it seems =)

    Let me just answer a few points:

    1. Aquasana doesn’t claim to kill amoeba and bacteria unless you install a UV filter for the whole house filter. We always recommend that you use a municipally-treated water source like Maynilad and Manila Water so that the water is already treated for such. If a deep-well customer comes to us, we even recommend that they have their water tested to see if any bacteria are present because we are clear that we cannot kill these. We also have a program where we remind customers to replace filters every 4 months. Maybe you would like to try our service out and experience it yourself?

    2. I have several posts about BPA being present in plastic bottles – various kinds of plastic bottles – all backed up by research, studies, which I quote in the blog, and which several other blogs quote and talk about as well. I know several other blogs talk about Polycarbonate and BPA safety but they’ve not convinced me as much. Maybe because I’m narrow-minded about this topic that way? Anyway, would you like a link to those blogs and articles which talk about the good side of plastic? I don’t believe in them but I can send you the links so that you may be affirmed.

    3. I still honestly hope those bottles get cleaned! I didn’t say they weren’t cleaned but yes, i do speculate a lot just like I speculate if the person who used the toilet in Mega Mall before me has SARS. But I’m getting off-tangent.

    4. You seem to have a lot of tips and opinions which I gladly published here. Maybe you want to start your own blog? I’ve learned a lot about blogging in the last few months. I’d be glad to help you. Just email me at ocmominmanila@gmail.com.

    5. I’m sorry for assuming you knew I owned Aquasana. Like I mention over and over in my posts and on twitter, I don’t think strangers read my blog, only my friends. And they and other readers obviously know by now that I own Aquasana because I shamelessly plug it. At least now I know to put that announcement at the start of every post.

    Thanks for dropping by Carlos!

  9. Carlos says:

    Why didn’t you approve my reply? You made some accusations, and I think I have a right to have my say too.

    • Carlos,

      If you read my reply again, I don’t think I made any accusations. I just made mere suggestions and clarifications. I respected your opinions and gave your reply ample space to be heard.

      Thank you again for taking time to read my blog and increasing my page views. =)

    • Carlos, OC mom has always been transparent about owning Aquasana. It’s not her fault that you didn’t know. How about opening your mind and realizing that the story could be the total opposite of how you perceive it? That OC mom has always been conscious of the environment, the use of plastic and the importance of clean water (OC nga eh) which is what made her the kind of person to start a business such as Aquasana (which is an excellent water purification system for places that have “potable” treated drinking water – like Manila).

      I agree with so many of your points, however I don’t agree with the tone that you stated it. As if OC Mom is not on the same side as you when it comes to trying to do what’s best for the environment. Each one of us is just doing what is best for their own situations. No one has to be completely right in this matter. She is not claiming to be perfect. If you feel so strongly about it, then yes perhaps your own blog is your best bet to be heard. I hope I don’t get not-so-nice comments for this as well. =)

  10. I love this post. I just wish that it would be applied here. We would also use a considerable amount of gas for boiling all our water if we didn’t order bottled. Bottled water is a way of life here from rich to the poorest because of the horrible quality of water. I want to move to a place with better quality water and air! Universe please conspire!

  11. Pingback: The Filtered Life: Aquasana In My Home | The Painter's Wife

  12. Gregory says:

    I just know if Plastic Bottled Water is not safe for consumption. I think the plastic bottle water is good for our health. I will be using a water filter for my home so the drinking water is healthy and safe for me and my family. Thanks for sharing with the readers for this important information.

    • Hi Gregory. WordPress thinks your comment is spam. Is it? Another question, you do realize my post is abut my belief that the 5-gallon bottle is not safe because it contains BPA right?

  13. Pingback: Breastfeeding Advocates’ Intentions are as Pure as Water (Just Not Bottled Water) | OC Mom in Manila

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