BOTTLED WATER: THE IMPACT ON MUNICIPAL WASTE STREAMS. Brett Rosenberg The U.S. Conference of Mayors May 1, 2008 New York City. BOTTLED WATER: THE IMPACT ON MUNICIPAL WASTE STREAMS. RESOLUTION 90: IMPORTANCE OF MUNICIPAL WATER
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The U.S. Conference of Mayors
May 1, 2008
New York City
RESOLUTION 90: IMPORTANCE OF MUNICIPAL WATER
WHEREAS, more than a quarter of bottled water is sourced from municipal tap water; and
WHEREAS, bottled water must travel many miles from the source, resulting in the burning of massive amounts of fossil fuels, releasing CO2 and other pollution into the atmosphere; and
WHEREAS, plastic water bottles are one of the fastest growing sources of municipal waste; and
WHEREAS, in the U.S. the plastic bottles produced for water require 1.5 million barrels of oil per year, enough to generate electricity for 250,000 homes or fuel 100,000 cars for a year; and…
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that The US Conference of Mayors encourage a compilation of information regarding the importance of municipal water and the impact of bottled water on municipal waste.
“The production, packaging, distribution and consumption patterns of the different types of bottled water vary considerably.”
Non-carbonated, or “still” water
Individual bottles, either sold separately or in bulk
Plastic bottles made of polyethylene terephthalate (PET or PETE)
Americans bought a total of 8.3 billion gallons of bottled water in 2006, sold in a variety of containers from small single‐serving bottles to multi‐gallon water cooler bottles.
Of this amount, non‐carbonated water totaled 7.3 billion gallons, or 88% of the total bottled water market
Individual PET containers accounted for 4.7 billion gallons, i.e., 57% of the bottled water market.
According to the Container Recycling Institute, Americans buy an estimated 25 billion single‐serving, plastic water bottles each year.
Another source estimates that Americans went through about 50 billion plastic water bottles last year, about 167 per person.
The Container Recycling Institute states that Non‐sparkling bottled water sales doubled in three years: going from 15 billion units sold in 2002 to 29.8 billion sold in 2005.
This is almost seven times the 3.8 billion units sold in 1997. Sales of plastic water bottles 1 liter or less increased more than 115%, from 13 billion in 2002 to 27.9 billion in 2005.
“At present, the market for post‐consumer PET bottles … in the United States is strong. However, there is a growing gap between the demand for post‐consumer bottles and the available supply. Simply put, there are not enough post-consumer bottles in the recycling system to satisfy the demands of the domestic PET reclaimers.”
Demand for post‐consumer PET containers collected by local recycling programs have made it difficult for domestic materials reclaimers to compete and has led to much consolidation throughout the industry