Views On The Issue

Survey Questions (results based on 30 random locals):

Are you aware that only 61-68% of plastic water bottles are recycled in Ottawa? 

Knowing this, do you feel they are too readily available considering negative environmental effects?

Would you continue purchasing disposable water bottles as usual if prices increased?

People aware of Ottawa's success rate at diverting water bottles from landfills

People aware of Ottawa’s success rate at getting water bottles recycled

Raising public awareness on the issue of the effects of disposable plastic water bottles is obviously something we need to work on. These two questions show us how much the population knows about this topic and how they feel about the availability of disposable plastic water bottles in stores. The data collected to the question, “Are you aware that only 61-68% of plastic water bottles are recycled in Ottawa?” had a saddening outcome. Only half of the people surveyed were aware of this. Ottawa can do better than that. It is said that the average person sees approximately 300 advertisements a day, and some authorities argue that number is even in the thousands. I don’t know about you, but I haven’t seen too many ads on the bus or on TV about the effects of disposable plastic water bottles.

Why? It is a major market and a source of income. Businesses don’t want their companies and their salaries to die off. So, they conveniently leave the information of the negative effects disposable plastic water bottles have on the environment. They give us the beautiful pictures of mountainous landscapes and leaping deer to gaze upon. They tell us how convenient disposable water bottles are and how cheap and refreshing they are. But when the reality of the situation is, bottled water costs 10 000 times more than tap water. Would you pay $20 000 for a pack of gum? It would seem the environment is. It is our environment that is paying for our mistakes, and ultimately the destruction and waste will return back to us.

So what can we do to change this? We can start by raising awareness. A statement as simple as the one we asked above is a fine place to start.

With this survey question, we brought to life a fact that many Ottawa citizens did not know: disposable plastic water bottles have a greater negative environmental impact that many realize. With this small amount of information revealed, the next questions had a very positive outcome.

How many people felt disposable water bottles were too readily available?

How many people felt disposable water bottles were too readily available?

27 out of 30 people said they feel water bottles are too readily available considering the negative environmental effects.

How many people would continue purchasing disposable water bottles if prices were raised?

How many people would continue purchasing disposable water bottles if prices were raised?

Most of the people surveyed also said they would not continue to buy disposable plastic water bottles if the prices increased. They said their usefulness does not outweigh the negatives. Once citizens learn the facts about the situation, they are better equipped to deal with it. A recommendation to the government is that they educate the public about the waste disposable water bottles create so that citizens can reduce their waste and take better care of the environment.

The conclusion of this part of the survey is that Ottawa citizens have the right intentions, but not enough people know all the facts about the situation.

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