Think twice about the plastic water bottle

A story that has appeared in the papers today comes as a timely reminder about our reliance on plastic water bottles. As Selfridges takes a stand (it’s about to stop selling single use plastic water bottles) and the city of San Francisco banned their sale, it’s time to think twice about grabbing a single use water bottle from the shop/supermarket/convenience store. The amount of plastic we consume (and throw away) as well its effect on our oceans and marine life is staggering.

A few statistics

3 million – plastic water bottles sold daily in the UK

13 m tonnes – of plastic enters the oceans each year

5 trillion – pieces of plastic are floating in the ocean, weighing 250,000 tonnes

1kg – amount of plastic in the oceans for every 3 kg of fish (by 2025)

A worker uses a rope to move through a pile of empty plastic bottles at a recycling workshop in Mumbai June 5, 2014. According to the United Nations Environment Programme website, World Environment Day is celebrated annually on June 5 to raise global awareness and motivate action for environmental protection. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui (INDIA - Tags: ENVIRONMENT SOCIETY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)

A worker uses a rope to move through a pile of empty plastic bottles at a recycling workshop in Mumbai

More than 13 billion plastic bottles are produced annually in the UK and it’s thought that only half are recycled. This is frightening stuff because plastic breaks down into small fragments in the sea which can be ingested by marine life, which in turn makes it way up the food chain, to us. Last year Selfridges sold over 400,000 single use plastic bottles, so the ban on selling them is a small start. And in an inspired move it is installing water fountains so you can refill your own bottle.

Selfridges is working in partnership with the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) on the campaign to clean up the oceans. Mind you the ZSL still sells plastic water bottles, but says it will be removing them by the end of the year when they install water fountains.

Plastic water bottle art in Brasil

Of course we need to keep drinking water (around 2 litres per day), but grab yourself a reusable water bottle and fill it up from the tap. Yes, the tap. I’m a big advocate of tap water. Filter it if you wish. But keep on drinking and stop buying the single use bottles. And if you ask why I haven’t talked about fizzy pop, cordials, colas and other juices. Well you shouldn’t really be drinking them anyway. So think twice and choose a reusable bottle for life.

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