In 2003, about 40 million bottles a day went into the trash, or even more unfortunately became litter. These billions of bottles take up valuable landfill space, leak toxic additives into the groundwater and take a whopping 1,000 years to biodegrade, if ever. Americans buy more bottled water than any other nation in the world, adding, on average, 29 billion water bottles a year to the problem. In order to make all these bottles, manufactueres use 17 million barrels of crude oil. That’s enough oil to keep a million cars going for twelve months. According to a 2001 report of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), roughly 1.5 million tons of plastic are expended in the bottling of 89 billion liters of water each year. Unfortunately, banning plastic bottles altogether is not feasible, as many places in the country and world rely on bottled water for safe drinking water. Until we have a better public water supply, some people will still need plastic water bottles.
The Great Garbage Patch lies in the middle of the Pacific, and is double the size of Texas. It is the largest garbage patch in the world, over a million pounds, most of which is plastic. The plastic ratio of plastic to plankton is 6:1, and 90% of trash in the ocean is plastic. To make it worse, plastic photodegrades instead of biodegrades-it breaks down into smaller pieces getting more and more toxic.
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