They encourage hydration and can be reused and then recycled. However, the energy costs that go into making one are astounding and probably outweigh the benefits.
IMO, this is kind of a strange question. I mean, there are good things about all bad things that absolutely don’t override the overall “badness.” For example, many invasive plants are very pretty to look at, but they wreak havoc on ecosystems and native plant habitats. Bottled water is generally pretty good-tasting, and convenient, but that doesn’t take away from the enormous carbon footprint or the massive amount of un-biodegradable trash that is generated. 2 billion half-liter bottles of water were shipped to US ports in 2006. And only 13% of disposable water bottles get recycled–in 2005, 2 million tons of plastic water bottles were thrown into landfills instead of recycled. This, to me, outweighs any kind of convenience or other short-term benefit that might come from bottled water.
And don’t be fooled by “ethical” bottled water like Ethos-brand. They donate 5 to 10 cents from every purchase to advocating for clean water in underdeveloped nations. Even if buying Ethos-brand water has provided millions to help develop safe drinking-water programs in underdeveloped countries, consider the amount of waste caused, and how that will affect those countries in the long run. It’s been said that a $100 donation through buying Ethos is the equivalent of buying (and disposing of) 2000 plastic bottles. Now, since statistically only 13% of those were recycled, that’s 1740 bottles going into a landfill or dumped into the ocean from a trash barge. Processing trash combined with the fuel used to create and ship these disposables contributes heavily to climate change, which is making water shortages around the world even worse, thereby defeating the project in the long-run.
Bottled water is simply not a good choice, ethically, environmentally, or economically.
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