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[GreenYes] Bottled Water
A new perspective on bottled water.  A portion of a report in
Environmental Health Perspectives, from the National Institute of
Environmental Health Sciences:
The Price of Bottled Water
Over half of Americans drink bottled water, spending 240-10,000 times
more per gallon for bottled water than they do for tap water, a trend
largely fueled by the belief that bottled water is safer and healthier
than tap water. Is the cost worth it? Controversial reports from the
World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) in Gland, Switzerland, and the Natural
Resources Defense Council (NRDC) in Washington, DC, say no. 
The 2001 WWF report Bottled Water: Understanding a Social Phenomenon, an
overview of the bottled water market, targets the environmental effects
of bottled water production. The report estimates that 1.5 million tons
of plastic are used in bottling 89 billion liters of water worldwide
each year. In addition, the energy used in manufacturing plastic
bottles, recycling them, and transporting them to market all drain
fossil fuels and contribute to greenhouse gases
The report suggests lessening negative environmental health effects by
simply washing and reusing plastic bottles rather than recycling them,
and by international companies using local bottling facilities to reduce
transportation needs. Indeed, says Stephen Kay, vice president of
communications for the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) of
Alexandria, Virginia, water cooler bottles already enjoy a 99%
reclamation rate, although they can only be reused so many times before
they simply wear out

Bruce Maine
Research Director
Sustainable Design Services
HDR Architecture
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