Plastic Waterbottles: The Solution

Jordan Lane

9/18/17

Climate change is increasing as we disregard the real-world impact of plastic bottles on our atmosphere. We have to change our habits in order to save our planet, our lives and our future. I’m going to be discussing one change we can make that could save the world as we know it. We have the capacity to reduce the numbers of plastic bottles that we toss into landfills. That one way is by changing how we consume our beverages. There are many new marketed items that can save us countless dollars if we use them to their full capacity. Reusable water bottles have been on the market for years and are being renewed frequently. I believe that using renewable water bottles will impact our ecosystem and additionally they will reduce the amount of money we spend on these products.

We are no stranger to plastic water bottles being our source of holding our fluids, but what impact do they have on our wallets? Jean Masman of Campfirepremiums has done research on the impacts of plastic water bottles. She turns our heads in the direction of a better and wallet-friendly future ahead of us. Although many will believe that one measly plastic bottle won’t do much damage towards our income, there is quite the impact. Masman states that, ”11 billion dollars” is the amount of money we spend each year on plastic bottles. It is possible, however, to choose the easier, environmentally friendly and money-saving option: renewable water bottles. Masman goes on with saying that, “sipping from a reusable water bottle will save us $550 a year”. This value will save each American family member $550 per year in which they can use on more valuable necessities. Renewable water bottles have nothing besides positive impacts to our lives, eco-system and wallets. The economy will be saving billions as the years progress if we decide to make a change. Plastic bottles has done nothing but harm our future and silently steal countless dollars from us.

The $500 we can save could seem miniscule to some, however, if we look at it from a broader standpoint it will have a greater impact. Norm Schriever, a writer for the Huffington Post, researched the impacts of tossed away plastic bottles. It’s easy to throw away our water bottles into the trash, as it seems even involuntary. So what is the impact of a small plastic bottle going to do? Each piece of plastic makes a difference. As countless people seem to not care where their trash ends up. Schriever focused on this aspect and found that, “our recycle rate is at only “23%”, which means that we throw away 38 billion water bottles into the landfill each year.” Tossing away plastic water bottles is equivalent to throwing our hard earned money directly into the landfill. Each piece of plastic has an impact and countless people throw their bottles away into landfills more often than not. Not only does this negatively affect the atmosphere, but it basically burns holes into our wallets where money just seems to go to waste.

Many aren’t convinced that one small water bottle will have any impact on the environment or our economy, however, this can impact your own life. Stephanie Toft, an intern at Earthdaynetwork, spent her time in researching and observing the lifespan impact of income. She found that “The average American buys an average of 167 disposable plastic water bottles per year, costing you $266, per year. Want to cut the costs? With our average life span soaring to 80 years old, you could theoretically save $17,290 in your lifetime with a reusable water bottle.” One product could save you thousands. In addition, this product is available to the public at low prices and easy-to-access stores. There is no need to waste money on such a useless costly product. The plastic bottles don’t always end up in our landfills as countless wind up in the ocean. Toft continued her research in studying the costly damage of oceans in saying, “It is estimated that 10-20 million tons of plastic ends up in our oceans every year, costing up to $13 billion a year in losses from damage to the marine ecosystems, clean-up costs, financial losses to fisheries and ocean-based tourism.” This number is only increasing as we continue to use our cash on plastic bottles. The amount of money used to pick up the bottles could be used for better and greater measures. Why does our economy have to spend billions on cleaning up plastic if there is a better option not only for our environment but for the economy?

Let’s put this into current values, Treehugger, a leading media outlet dedicated to driving sustainability mainstream has found that, “50 billion water bottles go into landfills each year, which is around 80% of the bought plastic water bottles.” Each plastic water bottle is estimated to cost around $5 dollars, depending on the brand. If we multiply the $5 each day for one year, let’s assume that each person buys one water bottle per day. We come up with $1,825 per person, per year. This number solely comes from opting to buy plastic bottles over renewable water bottles. The cost for a manufacturing company to create one plastic water bottle is estimated to be about $1. Let’s compare this to that of a reusable water bottle. For example a “Swell” bottle, a reusable bottle company charges fifteen dollars per bottle. Although it’s cheaper to create a plastic water bottle, over time the renewable bottle will have more of an impact on your wallet then a plastic bottle. A Swell bottle’s purpose is to save the user money while also helping the Earth in reducing the amount of plastic bottles. You pay $15 once and then don’t have to worry about it again. While plastic bottles are thrown away after one use and another bottle is needed the next time you need water. Sales for U.S. plastic water bottles are only increasing. The “30Daychallenge12” organization created a graph in order to compare plastic bottle sales over the years. Although this number is from a couple of years ago, they are only increasing due to our unwillingness to use renewable water bottles.

Renewable bottles are a simple, cheap and easy way to help not only our environment but our economy and wallets. Switching to these reusable bottles is a simple way to save money over time. We spend too much money on the production and clean up from plastic waste, and now it’s time for a change. We already put billions towards plastic bottles, however, we are capable of reducing this number. I believe that using renewable water bottles will impact our ecosystem because they will reduce the amount of money each family spends on plastic products.

Typography

\(5 dollars\(\times\ )\365 days) = $1,825

\( 1 dollar\(times\ )\365 days) = $365

Bibliography

Masman, Jean. “Bpa in plastic water bottles Archives.” Campfire Premiums, campfirepremiums.com/tag/bpa-in-plastic-water-bottles/. https://campfirepremiums.com/blog/

“Say Goodbye to the First Near-Zero Emissions Coal-Fueled Power Plant.” Earth Day Network, The Alliance, 25 Jan. 2016, www.earthday.org/2015/02/04/say-goodbye-to-the-first-near-zero-emissions-coal-fueled-power-plant/. 

Schriever, Norm. “Plastic Water Bottles Causing Flood of Harm to Our Environment.” The Huffington Post, TheHuffingtonPost.com, 29 July 2013, www.huffingtonpost.com/norm-schriever/post_5218_b_3613577.html.

Shoop, Alex. “Disposable Waste- Plastic Water Bottles.” Disposable Waste- Plastic Water Bottles, 30daychallenge12.weebly.com/.  https://30daychallenge12.weebly.com

Of, Union. “A World of Reasons to Ditch Bottled Water.” TreeHugger, Treehugger, 12 Sept. 2017, www.treehugger.com/green-food/a-world-of-reasons-to-ditch-bottled-water.html. https://www.treehugger.com/clean-water/the-us-consumes-1500-plastic-water-bottles-every-second-a-fact-by-watershed.html

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