What’s The Problem?

Why are plastic water bottles an issue?

Millions of years ago, if our ancestors wanted to drink water, they’d find a river or lake and drink straight from it. Today, we have a complex and sophisticated water purification system in place for everybody to benefit. However, despite this, the bottled water industry is still alive and well.

Water is the basis of life

Water is the basis of life

Bottled water presents a huge industry for companies. There are huge margins, and oftentimes bottled water is sold at more than 10000 times the cost of tap water. It is also very oil-dependent and produces a lot of garbage. Although in Ottawa, around 60% of plastic water bottles are recycled, the figure is not as high nation wide: in all of Canada, an average of 6 out of 10 plastic bottles are not recycled! This represents a huge amount of pollution for our country.

One of the major issues driving the popularity of bottled water is its availability. Water bottles can be found everywhere. One can walk past any convenience store, vending machine, or cafeteria, and there will be bottled water for sale. According to the government of Canada, bottled water makes up 10.6% of Canada’s non-alcoholic beverage sales. This is an astonishingly high figure, especially when one takes into account our clean and strictly regulated tap water. This issue is applicable all across Canada. Here in Ottawa we are no different.

There is an ever-increasing growth in recognition of the issue regarding bottled water. Many groups are lobbying for a ban or restriction on water bottles. The video “The Story of Bottled Water” (2010) is an example of the complaints people have towards the bottled water industry. Several areas such as the University of Ottawa have already banned the sale of plastic disposable water bottles on their campus. But despite the raising awareness, too many are still under the impression that a single bottle, or ten, cannot have an impact on the environment. This is the problem today.

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